Friday 28 October 2016

Claudio Ranieri offers sympathy to Jose Mourinho

Published 12/12/2015 | 13:06

Claudio Ranieri's, pictured, Leicester face Jose Mourinho's Chelsea on Monday
Claudio Ranieri's, pictured, Leicester face Jose Mourinho's Chelsea on Monday

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has revealed his sympathy for Jose Mourinho as he plots to regain top spot.

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The Foxes host Chelsea on Monday having been knocked off the Barclays Premier League summit by Manchester City.

The managers have had a rocky relationship in the past and clashed while Ranieri was at Roma and Mourinho was Inter Milan boss in 2010.

But with the Chelsea chief under pressure following a poor season - which has seen them lose four of their last six league games to sit 17 points behind Leicester - Ranieri feels for his rival.

He said: "Sympathy? Yes, but I have a good relationship with all the managers. For me doing this job is a fantastic life, it is good.

"My relationship with Jose is all like other managers. Jose can have a wine (after the game) if he wants. I have a very good Italian wine."

Leicester are unbeaten in eight games but Manchester City's last-gasp 2-1 win over Swansea on Saturday saw them move ahead at the top on goal difference.

But Ranieri believes the Foxes' focus will be key as he invoked inspiration from writer Rudyard Kipling.

"In my job I tried to impose my philosophy, my atmosphere," he said.

"I know when we win it is easier. Everybody is well when everything goes in the right way but I am an experienced manager and I know the right thing is balance - not too high when you are top and not too down when you are down. It is balance.

"I remember a Kipling poem If - it is fantastic. Victory and defeat are the same things. Maybe I will give it to my players."

The Foxes have stunned the top flight after beating relegation last season under former boss Nigel Pearson but Ranieri knows they still need to prove they can maintain their form.

He added: "We have to go for another 10 matches to continue to stay not top but around the top. I am very proud, my players are playing well and a lot of fans look on us as a team who play well."

Press Association

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