New Watford boss Claudio Ranieri has vowed to “work hard and fast” as he tries to push the club towards Premier League safety.
The former Italian Chelsea and Leicester manager replaced Xisco Munoz, who was sacked on Sunday after just 10 months in office, as Vicarage Road’s new head coach, signing a two-year contract.
Ranieri inherits a 15th-ranked club with seven points in seven league games this season since being promoted to the top flight.
The 69-year-old led Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016 and knows he will have to start racing when Watford is back in action following their international home break against Liverpool.
“Watford is a great club for me. I wanted to go back to England and I am very happy, very happy and I want to do my best, “said Ranieri on the Watford club website.” I think in England everyone knows me from Chelsea or Leicester, I want a team that tries to do We have excellent players in front, very fast, I want to close the spaces a little more and help the defensive line.
“Many players have joined, a new manager and it takes some time but I know there is no time in the Premier League. For this we have to work hard and fast.
“I hope to give them (the fans) a very good show.
“They know we are playing against Liverpool and we need their support from the first to the last second of the match. Against each team there are specific moments in which we are under pressure. “
Ranieri believes Watford – who opened the season with a win over Aston Villa and also won 3-1 at Norwich before Munoz’s departure – have the core of a team capable of holding their own.
“I’ve seen every Premier League match (so far). I think there are very good players, I have my philosophy, my mentality and we have to work hard to change little things, “said the Italian.
“I don’t start (working with) with all the guys (yet) because I have some injured players and there are some international players. We are working well, so far a great group and I am very confident.
“It’s not easy because the next match is Liverpool, one of the best teams in Europe. Of course I have to work fast, try to do my best and also (make sure) that my players understand me very soon. The first idea is to be sure: 40 points are very necessary. We’ll see.”
Ranieri – sacked by the Foxes just nine months after winning the title after a bad start to the 2016-17 season – becomes Watford’s 13th permanent manager since the Pozzo family took control of the club in 2012.
The Italian counts Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Rome, Inter and Monaco on the list of his former clubs.
Ranieri also coached the Greek national team and had a brief stint on the bench at Fulham during 2018-19, which lasted just 106 days.
Although he could have taken a well-deserved break from the game, Ranieri is relishing the opportunity to return to the bench again.
“I love football, football is my life and I have a long future. It’s the atmosphere, the adrenaline. I have it in my blood “, he said.” I can tell the fans: we work hard, the campaign will be very difficult, but we are confident. “
On Thursday, Watford announced the signing of Cameroon defender Nicolas Nkoulou.
The free 31-year-old has signed a contract until the end of the season to become the first to lead Ranieri.
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