‘It’s been a tough few weeks for us.
The Foxes, with preseason odds of 5,000/1 to lift last season’s EPL title, finished on top, 10 points ahead of second-place Arsenal.
“I love these players as they gave me something special in my career”.
Whether or not that’s true is a matter of some debate, but Ranieri was certainly a massive part of why Leicester shocked the world and won the Premier League a year ago.
In their successful season Ranieri used just 18 players to win the league. “Also, I am Pinocchio”, Ranieri said. Now it is important to be positive without bad, bad words. ‘For us it is one of the main matches of the season because we have to get a result, ‘ he said. These East Midlands rivals drew the first fixture 2-2 at Pride Park. We’re the reigning champions and quite frankly it has been awful, it has been embarrassing. He added: “We are still searching for the best way to play (without him)”.
“It’s hard but I am used to fighting, and also my players are used to fighting because Leicester always fighting in last 10 years, and I am very confident in this [survival]”.
While it is what you do out on the pitch at the end of the day that counts the most, these sort of opportunities to speak to a global sporting superstar do not come around every day.
“I think it’s the right move”, said the ex-Sunderland man on Leicester’s decision to back the Italian.
‘Some managers did it [made changes] in their first game.
When asked about the strength of the dressing room and the support of his players, Ranieri was diplomatic, insisting that Leicester remain united in their fight against the drop.
‘Ten days later you’ve got two completely different teams. Claudio Ranieri still has mostly the same players that lifted the Premier League trophy back in May, yet they still find themselves 38 points behind current leaders Chelsea. Saying that it was still a thrilling cup tie’.
Demarai Gray and Daniel Amartey could also feature from the start. It’s too easy to say we make mistakes and that is bad. “Everybody is disappointed – the players, the staff and I can tell that the fans are as well and that’s their right”, he said.
Reports of changing room unrest and increasingly alienation between players and manager have subsequently emerged, but Ranieri has sought to play down such speculation. It’ll involve playing next season without Schmeichel, Vardy, Mahrez and a few others and setting another record – albeit an unwanted one this time.