Claudio Ranieri will be backed by Fulham in the January transfer window but he intends to give everyone a chance to prove themselves.
Ranieri was announced as the successor to Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday, with the team bottom of the Premier League having won just one of their 12 matches despite spending approximately £100million on new additions in the close season.
Further investment could be on the horizon, with Ranieri – a Premier League champion at Leicester City in 2015-16 – and chairman Shahid Khan having already discussed the possibility.
However, the Italian will give every player a chance to earn their place as he tries to steer Fulham towards safety.
On potential signing January signings, Ranieri said: “I spoke to the chairman about it. He told me: ‘Claudio, if you need something I am here.’
“But I said I want to see the players, when you change the manager, it changes the behaviour in the dressing room. Some players didn’t play well for the former manager and when there is a new manager they give more because maybe there’s more feeling with the new manager and the player.
“I believe I have very good players, but they have to show me the fighting spirit.
“If I came here it is because I believe. I am mad, but I am not stupid. I think I can do this. It is not easy. It is not easy. Nothing is easy, but I believe.”
& suits you Mr Ranieri pic.twitter.com/t5EaGwHEvM
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) November 16, 2018
Fulham have conceded a league-high 31 goals this season and Ranieri spoke about his intention to tighten up the defence.
The veteran manager rewarded his Leicester players with pizza after their first clean sheet of the 2015-16 campaign, but he has other plans for his new squad.
“I hope to pay them with a big McDonald’s burger very soon,” Ranieri said when asked how quickly he could turn things around.
“I don’t know, it depends how they understand my philosophy because we have to defend all together and attack all together. I would like to tell you in two weeks it is done, but no.
“I know I don’t have time but then it is a big battle.”
At the other end of the pitch, Aleksandar Mitrovic scored five goals in his first six league appearances this season but has not struck for Fulham since.
“Look, for me Mitrovic is a fantastic striker. He needs some good balls. We have to give him balls to score goals,” he said.
“I watch Mitrovic in the national team, I watch Mitrovic score goals. For us, he is a fantastic player and I wait to see him doing very good things.
“I have to choose the best fit for him, not only him, but for everybody. I have to choose the first 11.”
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