Claudio Ranieri says he’s thrilled to be the Premier League head coach with Watford again – and says his first job is to keep them in the top flight.
The Italian, who led Leicester to Premier League glory in 2015/16, will turn 70 next week.
But he insists his appetite for football remains strong, having replaced Xisco Munoz at Vicarage Road, and believes the safety this season for Watford could lead to bigger things for the club.
“Why not Watford? Ranieri said.
“I feel good. Fortunately, I feel good. When I think of football, life is good. Football is my life.
“I am very happy to play in one of the best leagues in the world. I am an ambitious man and I hope to lead Watford to be safe at the end of the season and to improve.
“We have to be safe. The program is very ambitious and I hope it will be a fantastic ending for Watford and our fans.”
Munoz was sacked despite a reasonable start to the season for Watford – who is 15th with seven points in seven games, having secured a league promotion under Munoz last season.
The Spaniard’s sacking continued the club’s recent trend of dismissing managers after fairly short terms, but Ranieri is unfazed.
“In Italy it is normal to change managers,” he said.
“We have to do our best, I can’t think of the old manager.
“Xisco was my player in Valencia, I hope he can find a new solution very soon.
“Now I have to do my best for Watford.”
Ranieri last worked in the Premier League with Fulham in 2018/19 but was sacked just months after failing to stop their struggles.
His time with Leicester has been more successful overall, and he has been asked if Watford fans can dare to dream of replicating the Foxes’ rise from relegation contenders to title winners.
“Now we have to be safe,” Ranieri said.
“Do you remember me in Leicester?” 40 points, 40 points, 40 points, 40 points, we have to succeed.
“After next season, we’ll see if we can do 41, and after 42, and after 43.
“It’s my idea – but if it all comes early I’m very happy.”
The new boss faces a rocky start, however, with Watford welcoming undefeated Liverpool in their first game in charge on Saturday.