‘Gent’ Ranieri good at keeping things simple – Okazaki
The former Leicester boss steered Fulham to a draw against his old club.
Leicester forward Shinji Okazaki has revealed the approach Claudio Ranieri will use to inspire Fulham to survival.
The Italian’s new club were on course for victory over the Foxes, who he led to the Premier League title, until Okazaki combined with Demarai Gray to set up James Maddison for the finish that secured Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.
Victory would have represented Ranieri’s second from three attempts since his appointment and taken Fulham out of the relegation zone but Leicester’s equalising goal instead kept them bottom.
There was, however, the impression they are building some positive momentum after making a troubled start to the season under Slavisa Jokanovic.
Okazaki, 32, said of Ranieri: “He keeps things simple. Tactics are so complicated now, but he focuses on the collective, sticking together, and the fight – those are his strengths.
“He’s experienced, and a good motivator – he’ll never give up and keep fighting. The opponent played well, the players were motivated.
“He’s a gent. He was a good motivator; maybe this was good motivation for us, this match. We hadn’t spoken about him.
“It was a very tough match. The opponent worked very collectively; they seemed to know our style and their defence was very compact. For the first 20 minutes it was a good start, because we used our width, but afterwards they knew that (and) they were much better.
“We conceded, and then it was very difficult; we fought but the opponent was technical.”
Fulham’s Calum Chambers again produced an encouraging performance from his new defensive midfield role, from where only a superb reaction save from Kasper Schmeichel denied him the first-half goal that would perhaps have secured all three points.
“We are disappointed we did not get the win but that is probably a positive that we feel like that after the game,” Chambers said. “It shows how far we have come.
“We looked more solid as a team, more organised, we created a lot of chances but there are positives. The last few games we have put in great performances as a team, defensively and creating chances of ourselves. We have got to keep working in training and the clean sheet will come.”