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Watford boss Claudio Ranieri braced for ‘important’ week

The Hornets travel to Newcastle on Saturday before taking on Burnley and Norwich in a week that could have a big impact at the bottom of the table.

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Claudio Ranieri admitted Watford’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday is a “big game” in the Premier League (Tess Derry/PA)

Claudio Ranieri admitted Watford’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday is a “big game” in the Premier League (Tess Derry/PA)

Claudio Ranieri admitted Watford’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday is a “big game” in the Premier League (Tess Derry/PA)

Claudio Ranieri admitted Watford’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday is crucial ahead of an “important” week in the fight for Premier League survival.

The Hornets are currently 17th in the table but have not won a match since their surprise 4-1 victory over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on November 20.

Over a seven-day period starting on Saturday, Watford travel to Newcastle before taking on Burnley and Norwich in a week that could have a significant impact at the bottom of the table.

“Yes, this is a big game, big match for us, for them,” the Watford boss said.

“But also in this week we play three times against teams who are relegation fighters, and it is important to be strong and solid because also the opponent will be solid and strong, but I am confident with my team.”

Ranieri declined to say whether it was the biggest game he had faced since taking over from Xisco Munoz in October, but the Hornets have lost 10 out of their 12 matches since he took the helm.

“I can’t say it’s the biggest, all the matches are very, very important,” Ranieri added.

“Of course all this week the matches are very, very important for us, but also the Premier League does not finish this week and for us it is important to maintain our confidence in our football.”

Watford have made three new signings already in January, with midfielder Edo Kayembe arriving from Eupen and defenders Hassane Kamara and Samir joining from Nice and Udinese respectively.

Ranieri has been pleased with his side’s business in the transfer window, but did not say if there were more signings on the horizon.

“Never say never,” he said. “I am very happy because (the) three new signings, (they have) strong qualities.

“And at the beginning of the market (transfer window), very important for me because they must know the Premier League, the team and then they will help us.”

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