Watford’s new head coach Claudio Ranieri: ‘My team is ready’

Claudio Ranieri, who has been appointed as the new Watford manager on a two-year deal, will prepare his team to face Liverpool on Saturday.

Claudio Ranieri in a training session; Credit: Twitter@WatfordFC

Watford’s newly appointed head coach Claudio Ranieri knows that his squad has no time to waste ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Liverpool. Ranieri will meet the last of the international players returning to the club’s training ground on Friday. He continues to impose his footballing philosophy on the squad as domestic football is set to return once again following an international break. Ranieri, who has been appointed as the new Watford manager on a two-year deal, will prepare his team for a tough task on Saturday. However, safety in the Premier League is the immediate aim for the Italian boss.

“Watford is a good team, I’ve known the Pozzo family for a long time,” Ranieri was quoted as saying by the club’s website. “Once, 20 years ago I met the father of Mr Gino Pozzo, Mr Giampaolo Pozzo. He wanted me at Udinese, but we didn’t achieve it. Then when Mr Gino Pozzo called me after the Leeds defeat and asked me about coming to Watford, I thought, ‘why not?’.

“I am very happy to come back to the Premier League – one of the best leagues in the world. I am an ambitious man and I hope to bring Watford to safety at the end of the season and to also improve next season. I think about 40 points. There are 33 points to achieve now. I don’t know against who, I don’t know what will happen in every match. I want to fight.”

Ranieri is relishing the opportunity to take on Liverpool in his first game as Watford boss. He has also heaped praise on the Reds’ head coach Jurgen Klopp.

“I watched his training sessions a long time ago when he was at Borussia Dortmund, for one week,” said Ranieri. “He is a very good manager, he has won everything, and I am happy to meet him on Saturday.

“Tomorrow [Friday] I have all my players, and after Saturday we play against one of the best teams in the world. That’s okay! We are ready, I am ready and also my team is ready. It will be a battle, and we will battle.”

James Milner on Watford

Liverpool will resume their campaign after the international break by traveling to Vicarage Road to take on Watford. Speaking about the clash, their veteran player Milner said: “It seems to always happen to us, I think, when teams are maybe going through a sticky patch and the manager changes before we play them. That makes them more unpredictable, I think.” 

“Obviously I think it’s always going to be tough. Whether they’re flying or they change the manager, it’s going to be tough. It’s the Premier League, there’s good teams and teams who are struggling are going to want to turn it around. Obviously probably a bit less pressure on them – teams will expect us to win and people will expect us to win.” 

“So, the pressure is off them a bit and they can go out there with a free hit. Now obviously with a change of manager, he might change a lot, he might not change too much – it’s hard to know, so that makes it a bit more difficult. We just have to make sure that we concentrate on our side and put in a performance and prepare the best we can for how we think they’re going to play. But it’s on our performance really.”

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