FULHAM boss Claudio Ranieri believes the recent death of Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has brought the fairytale enjoyed by his former club to an end.
Ranieri masterminded Leicester’s improbable Premier League title success in 2015-16 but was sacked nine months later in February 2017.
Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people were killed in October when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed near the King Power Stadium.
Ranieri will be facing the Foxes for the first time since he left Leicester when they visit Craven Cottage tonight, and the Italian said: ‘I think we spoke a lot about the fairytale.
‘Now the chairman, Vichai, has died the fairytale has finished but the memories remain — and the achievement.
‘I am very sad for what happened and we have to continue in our life.’
Ranieri is expected to receive a rapturous reception from the visiting Leicester fans for what will be his third match in charge of Fulham.
The 67-year-old said: ‘It will be very strange. Very emotional moment, but it’s okay, that is football. It will be a good moment but after we have to win.’
The Cottagers won Ranieri’s first match in charge, ending a seven-match winless run, by beating Southampton 3-2.
That was followed by a 2-0 loss at Chelsea, another of his old clubs.
‘I wanted to come back to the Premier League sooner or later, for me it’s a good moment now after Chelsea to play Leicester,’ he added. ‘Every game is very important. I want to see good progress after Southampton and Chelsea.’
The Cottagers boss was encouraged by the performance against Chelsea, despite the loss. ‘I showed my players what we did well, we made some mistakes but it’s important to continue and watch on the TV what is wrong and improve during the training. Slowly, slowly, I’m sure we clean everything.’
Fulham are the only one of 92 league clubs not to have kept a clean sheet this season and Ranieri added: ‘I don’t know when it will arrive but we are working hard to make it possible. Sooner or later, I’m sure, we are in the right way.’