Maurizio Sarri is certain we have not seen the last of Claudio Ranieri in charge of a football team.
The former Chelsea manager, who is now 67, was dismissed by our neighbours Fulham yesterday, ahead of our visit to Craven Cottage this weekend. Sarri knows his fellow Italian coach well and indeed hosted Ranieri at Cobham back in August before he took the Fulham job.
‘I am really very sorry,’ is Sarri’s reaction to Ranieri losing his job, ‘but I know very well his character so I know very well we will see him very soon on another bench.
‘I think it will hurt him a lot of course, it is normal, but he is very strong and I think in a few days he will be able to think to the next situation, to the future.
‘He was unlucky because the situation was difficult [at Fulham] and it is now, but they have also opportunities for saving [themselves], so I think we have to play a difficult match, a derby, so we need another very good performance.’
Sarri anticipates the change in management at Fulham might make the SW6 derby even more testing.
‘Usually when there is a change of the coach there is a reaction and so we have to fight the reaction, and also it is very difficult for us to prepare the match because we don’t know the new system and the new ideas, so it is a very difficult match.’