Monday 26 September 2016

Claudio Ranieri: Leicester players must embrace added pressure

Published 01/03/2016 | 07:26

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has lost just three league games this season
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has lost just three league games this season

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has told his players they must learn to deal with the pressure which comes as league leaders.

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The Foxes lead the Barclays Premier League by two points ahead of Tuesday's visit of West Brom to the King Power Stadium.

They have maintained their shock title challenge all season, losing just three league games, and beat Norwich 1-0 on Saturday to stay top.

Ranieri believes Tottenham are favourites to win the league, with Mauricio Pochettino's men lying second following a come-from-behind win against Swansea on Sunday.

But while Ranieri played down his side's chances of winning the league, he insisted the Foxes need to show they can cope with the added attention they are receiving.

He said: "I don't ban (any title talk). They must grow up with the pressure, that is good, but for us it's not important to win the title. It's important to improve our performance match after match.

"We don't think about it, we are thinking about what we are doing well and badly. We try to improve what was bad from the last match."

Leicester relied on a late Leonardo Ulloa goal to beat Norwich after being frustrated by the battling Canaries but hit back following their previous 2-1 defeat to Arsenal.

And Ranieri, who is without hamstring injury victim N'Golo Kante for their next two games, expects mid-table West Brom to pose similar problems.

He said: "When you play against teams like Norwich, and West Bromwich, we have to be patient and find the solution. The first match against West Brom was tough. They scored first, and we slowly got better. I am waiting for the same this time.

"We have to continue to play our football, be intelligent, and take the right moment.

"It's important to concentrate. They are very good on the counter-attack with (Salomon) Rondon, (Stephane) Sessegnon and (Saido) Berahino, and they are also very dangerous on the corner. They've scored eight or nine goals from set-plays.

"If we take a clean sheet we can do something. They have a lot of players who impress me.

"Did you see Norwich? They started the match with the long ball and said 'come on then'. We have to patient and find the right solution."

Press Association

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