Fulham Manager Claudio Ranieri gave a frank assessment of his side’s performance today at Old Trafford as the Whites fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of a ruthless Manchester United side.
The Manager has made his side aware that in order to survive in the Premier League they cannot afford to put in a showing as they did in the opening 45 minutes and must look to match the intensity and aptitude shown in the second half.
“I want to talk about the whole game, not just one incident and the referee,” Ranieri said.
“The referee can make mistakes just as a manager can make mistakes.
“Players can make mistakes as well and this is just football.
“In the first half it was all Manchester United. They played very well with powerful qualities. We didn’t realise what happened.
“The second half was much better. We had the desire to try and play our best and we scored a goal.
“At that moment there wasn’t a foul. At the time I couldn’t see on the pitch but I watched after on video and I saw my player touch the ball only and the referee gave a second yellow card.
“That moment again changed the match because from the first minute of the second half it was much better for us.
“We showed what we have to do if we want to survive in the Premier League.
“I said to my players. If you play like in the first half it is the way to relegation. But if we play like in the second half we can survive.
“It is very clear.
“We have to react, we have to think about it and we have to have desire to be in the Premier League next season because nobody gives a gift.”
A recent standout performer for the Whites was absent from the starting XI today as Calum Chambers picked up a slight injury in training prior to the match at Old Trafford.
Despite missing out today Ranieri hopes to have Chambers back for the London derby against West Ham United next weekend at Craven Cottage.
“Chambers suffered a little problem and was in London,” he stated. “He didn’t travel with us.
“I hope he will be ready to be back next week.”