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Monday 26 June 2017

Claudio Ranieri upbeat on title chances despite draw with West Brom

Claudio Ranieri was happy with the 'fantastic' performance from Leicester despite the draw
Claudio Ranieri was happy with the 'fantastic' performance from Leicester despite the draw

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri insisted the Foxes are still alive in the title race and refused to be downbeat despite dropping crucial points.

They drew 2-2 with West Brom on Tuesday to move three points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

But they missed the chance to extend their lead over Tottenham after Craig Gardner's superb free-kick rescued a draw for the Baggies at the King Power Stadium.

Spurs will go top on goal difference if they beat West Ham on Wednesday but Ranieri remained optimistic.

He said: "There are Arsenal, Tottenham and (Manchester) City in the race to fight for the title and there is little Leicester to fight against them.

" Four points from two difficult matches, it is fantastic. We are alive and our spirit is ready to fight again. I am happy, not that we didn't get the three points because you can't always get the three points, but our performance was fantastic.

"I am only concerned at my team and I look at the table at the end of the season to see where we are.

"We are confident. But we can repeat the final season like last season. We try to do our best. Today we were not so lucky but perhaps in the last 10 matches we will be. Why not? Be positive."

Danny Drinkwater and Andy King cancelled out Salomon Rondon's first half opener while Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki hit the bar either side of the break.

The Foxes pushed but could not find a winner as Ben Foster denied Wes Morgan late on while Jeff Schlupp and Robert Huth also went close.

And West Brom boss Tony Pulis praised Leicester's relentless approach and declared he wanted the Foxes to take the title.

He said: "I hope Leicester win the league.

"This will be the most surprising Premier League or shock that has happened since Nottingham Forest (who won the First Division in 1978) and it's a bigger shock because of the divide between the clubs who have and those who haven't is enormous.

"I am now supporting Leicester for the rest of the season, apart from West Brom.

"Every Leicester fan has to be proud of their team. They are fantastic and never stop."

Meanwhile, Albion's Chris Brunt will see a specialist on Wednesday to discover the severity of the knee injury he suffered at the weekend.

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