Fulham: Scott Parker has 'mixed emotions' after replacing Claudio Ranieri

Scott Parker and Claudio Ranieri
Scott Parker (right) was first-team coach prior to Claudio Ranieri's dismissal

Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker has "mixed emotions" after replacing Claudio Ranieri and says his role is "definitely an audition".

Italian Ranieri was sacked on Thursday after 106 days in charge, and replaced by first-team coach Parker.

The Cottagers are 19th in the Premier League table, 10 points from safety with 10 games left.

"As a young person in this position, I'm very grateful," said former England midfielder Parker, 39.

"It's been a whirlwind 24 hours.

"It's mixed emotions, what with sitting where we are in the league and Claudio losing his job, but the flipside is one of excitement. I appreciate the opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it."

Parker said he has spoken to Ranieri, adding: "He is truly classy in every sense. He came in and addressed the players, and I thanked him for his time and effort with me."

Parker played for Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham, Tottenham and Fulham in a 20-year playing career and has been coaching at the Cottagers since 2018.

"It's definitely an audition," he said. "On a personal note, this is something I started working towards seven years ago when I was a Spurs player. I've got an ambition to be a manager.

"I don't have many friends but yesterday my phone was pinging all the time.

"[Former Manchester United manager] Sir Alex [Ferguson] found the time to send a long, detailed message giving me advice on how he sees things, which is truly inspirational."

His first match in charge is the west London derby against sixth-placed Chelsea on Sunday at Craven Cottage on Sunday (14:05 GMT).

Parker said his main focus is "getting the team together" and "finding some stability", adding: "At times we've been a little easy to play against and we need to address that.

"The situation doesn't lie. It's a tough ask but I'm relishing the opportunity of testing ourselves against these big teams.

"We need to get a balance back. As a club, as fans, as players, as owners, we just need to regroup a little bit.

"If we do that well, results will be a by-product of that."

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