Claudio Ranieri: We have to beat Brighton

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri says his side have to win their Premier League match at home to Brighton & Hove Albion this evening.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 2:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:28 pm
Claudio Ranieri. Picture by Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

The Cottagers are second from bottom in the Premier League with just 14 points from 23 matches, seven points from safety.

Brighton are 13th in the top flight, seven points clear of the drop zone, and Ranieri knows how crucial this match is as Fulham are away for three of their four Premier League games in February and their only home match is against an in-form Manchester United side.

Fulham lost 2-1 to an injury-time goal to Tottenham last time out and Ranieri said: "I think we played a good match (against Spurs) but when you play against champions they can create something. I talked to my players and said the match was good. We have to continue this way, but concentrate until the end.

"Brighton are playing very well. It's very simple; they want to counter attack, close the space, break the lines, and win free-kicks and corners.

"It's crucial for us. Brighton is a good team and very direct, but we have to win. We must give our maximum effort to win."

Asked if the game is must-win for Fulham, Brighton manager Chris Hughton said: "I think Fulham will see this as a game they can win. Amongst all the games left to play, there are some very difficult ones for them.

"If we talk about it on paper and the teams above them in the league, then they've got some difficult games coming up.

"I would think this is a game they will feel they can win."