The Fulham boss wants him to find a ruthless edge.

Ranieri wants Sessegnon to work on his mean streak

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  • 2019-01-11 22:11:12 11 months ago
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Claudio Ranieri has told Ryan Sessegnon to develop a mean streak to propel Fulham's Premier League survival fight.

England Under-21 star Sessegnon has been a fixture in Fulham's return to the top-flight, even at the tender age of 18.

Italian boss Ranieri is a big fan of Sessegnon's talents, but has called on the Roehampton-born winger to adopt a ruthless edge on the field.

"He has to improve a little bit – just a little bit – I want him more aggressive in his head," said Ranieri.

"Sometimes in the duel he is a little shy.

"I do not want to say a nasty word in Italian but I want him to be more nasty sometimes.

"In the battle you have to be, bang, come on!

"I want him to make something more. His quality, the way he trains is fantastic but he needs to be a little nasty."

Sessegnon's prodigious talent already places him among the most coveted young English talents.

With two Premier League goals to his name he has acclimatised well to life in the top-flight.

But Fulham boast just three wins in 21 games, and now face a pivotal relegation scrap at struggling Burnley on Saturday.

And Ranieri wants Sessegnon to step up and play with the kind of authority to match his talent but belie his years as the Cottagers look to climb out of trouble.

The former Leicester boss made more than 300 appearances in a 13-year club career in Italian football, between 1973 and 1986, and is confident he can coax a harder edge out of Sessegnon.

"I will give it to him; I was so nasty when I played a long time ago, believe me," said Ranieri.

"I can give him my experience.

"On the pitch you have to respect everybody but also on the pitch you have to achieve this respect."

Fulham are already talking to Sessegnon about extending his current contract that has less than 18 months to run, with Ranieri positive about discussions so far.

"I know they are speaking and I think sooner or later his agent will find a solution," said Ranieri.

"I want him and I believe in him.

"I hope soon it can be finished, but that is not my job, it's for the club."

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Ranieri wants Sessegnon to work on his mean streak

No advantage to FA Cup exit – Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp denies their FA Cup exit has given them an advantage over Premier League title rivals Manchester City and Tottenham.

Defeat to Wolves on Monday left the league leaders with a run of five matches – against Brighton, Crystal Palace, Leicester, West Ham and Bournemouth – before the Champions League last-16 encounter with Bayern Munich in February.

By comparison, City and Spurs are both still in four competitions and have Carabao Cup semi-final second legs and FA Cup fourth-round ties to play within that time.

Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolves
Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolves (Nick Potts/PA)

But Klopp said: "There's no advantage, we will see it.

"When does the Champions League start? In February? It's not even a month and then we talk again completely differently. It's just the situation.

"Other teams played more games, they are still in competitions, but they can deal with it, you can see it.

"We could deal with it as well with the right number of players, that's how it is, but that's all. There's no advantage, we have to use the time.

"I would love to still be in these competitions but we are not in. I know Pep (Guardiola) said already that he prefers to be in four competitions.

Pep Guardiola's side are targeting a quadruple
Pep Guardiola's side are targeting a quadruple (Richard Sellers/PA)

"Yeah, I would prefer the same. But we are not in, so we have to make the best of the time we have now and get as many points as possible.

"You have to use the time and really be week in, week out the best shape we can be, understand the job right, understand the challenge right, and go for it. That's our job, nothing else."

Klopp made nine changes at Molineux, giving debuts to youth-team players Curtis Jones and Rafael Camacho, while 16-year-old substitute Ki-Jana Hoever was pressed into action after Dejan Lovren sustained an early hamstring problem.

That leaves Virgil Van Dijk as the only fit centre-back, although Joel Matip has returned to training this week and could be in contention to play at Brighton.

"Joel trained yesterday, first time with the team, but we have to decide day-by-day how he is doing," said Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp could welcome back Joel Matip, right, at the weekend
Jurgen Klopp could welcome back Joel Matip, right, at the weekend (Dave Thompson/PA)

"Hendo (Jordan Henderson) will train today, first time, and we will see what that means exactly. Adam (Lallana) out. Dejan out – it's not that serious and I would expect him back maybe after Crystal Palace. Joe (Gomez) of course out.

"It's quite special. I think if you want to put a bet on having three centre-halves injured in the same moment, you could win a lot of money.

"It usually doesn't happen but here it happened and was a bit of bad luck. That makes it quite a bit tricky."

Defeat to City in their last Premier League outing has cut Liverpool's lead to four points, but in any other year their tally of 54 points from 21 matches would have given them a significantly better advantage over the chasing pack.

It is not something which concerns Klopp, who ruled out a January loan move for youngster Camacho after his debut at Wolves.

Rafael Camacho will not be leaving Liverpool on loan
Rafael Camacho will not be leaving Liverpool on loan (Nick Potts/PA)

"Statistics from the past have no relevance in the present because it is always different. We don't think about the season before or 20 years ago," said the Reds boss.

"Our season so far is really good and now we have to carry on. It is not important what happened so far.

"Two weeks ago I think everyone was so excited about the distance between (the teams at the top) and all of us who are in the job (think) that is just one information in 2,000.

"We have now two games which we lost, which is not nice, but it is not a real problem because these games have gone as well.

"We only talk here (in the press conference) about the points and the distance, we never do that during the week because it is just not relevant."

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Eddie Howe open to more arrivals at Bournemouth

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has refused to rule out strengthening his injury-hit squad further during the January transfer window.

The Cherries last week splashed £19million to sign England striker Dominic Solanke from Liverpool, with right-back Nathaniel Clyne arriving on loan from Anfield on the same day.

Bournemouth, who have lost eight of their last 11 Premier League fixtures, have seen their squad reduced by a succession of serious knee injuries in the past two months

Captain Simon Francis, right-back Adam Smith and England midfielder Lewis Cook are each sidelined for the foreseeable future, while new boy Solanke is currently unavailable for his debut because of a hamstring problem.

Howe, who on Sunday allowed veteran striker Jermain Defoe to join Rangers, takes his mid-table team to Everton on Sunday and is considering recruiting additional reinforcements this month.

"I wouldn't rule anything in or out in this transfer window," said Howe at his pre-match press conference.

"We've been forced to act this time due to injuries, so we'll wait and see what happens in the coming weeks."

Speaking about the arrivals of Clyne – who made his debut in the 3-1 FA Cup loss to Brighton – and Solanke, Howe added: "I was pleased to get our two deals over the line so quickly.

"We have some long-term injuries and they're big losses, so to fill the positions is very important to us.

"Nathaniel has settled in well. He's trained very well and I was pleased with his performance last week.

"We haven't seen Dominic in training just yet."

Ahead of the trip to Goodison Park, Howe has further selection concerns, particularly in attacking areas.

Top scorer Callum Wilson, a reported transfer target for Chelsea, and creative winger Ryan Fraser will undergo late fitness tests on hamstring issues, while Joshua King is also a doubt due to illness.

Bournemouth battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with the Toffees at the Vitality Stadium in late August, a feisty contest which both sides ended with 10 men.

Howe expects another open game against Marco Silva's men this weekend as the Cherries search for just a third league win since October.

"It's another massive game for us. We're keen to show a response to the recent run that we've been on," he added.

"It's two teams that want to attack and implement their attacking play on the other team.

"We did really well to come back from two goals down against them earlier this season."

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