Sunday 25 September 2016

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri plans to ignore title rivals

Nick Mashiter

Published 02/03/2016 | 08:50

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is planning to ignore his title rivals after the Foxes slipped up against West Brom.

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Ranieri's men were held to a 2-2 draw by the Baggies on Tuesday to move three points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Tottenham go to West Ham on Wednesday knowing a win would see them leapfrog the Foxes on goal difference.

Leicester travel to Watford on Saturday and Ranieri plans to spend his time studying the Hornets rather than anxiously watching Spurs or third-placed Arsenal, who host Swansea.

Salomon Rondon celebrates scoring the first goal for West Brom with Darren Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon
Salomon Rondon celebrates scoring the first goal for West Brom with Darren Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon

"Maybe I watch Watford more than the others. Watford are the most important, not the other teams," he said.

"I think there is Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City who fight for the title and there is little Leicester who fight against them. I want you to remember where we start.

"It (pressure) is not important for us. 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 ur best. Today we were not so lucky but perhaps in the last 10 matches we will be. Why not? Be positive."

Danny Drinkwater celebrates with Shinji Okazaki, Danny Simpson and Andy King after scoring the first goal for Leicester City
Danny Drinkwater celebrates with Shinji Okazaki, Danny Simpson and Andy King after scoring the first goal for Leicester City

Danny Drinkwater and Andy King scored to put Leicester 2-1 up at the break after Salomon Rondon's early goal stunned the hosts. Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki hit the bar but the Foxes were held to a point after Craig Gardner levelled.

Ranieri added: "We didn't panic after the first goal and managed the ball very well, we built the pressure from the back and our fans were behind us. We scored twice and if we had just a little more luck and we would have won the match. Sometimes to get one point is good."

Gardner's brilliant free-kick earned a battling draw for West Brom who are 13th in the table and 12 points clear of the bottom three.

Boss Tony Pulis was full of praise for Leicester and declared he was a Foxes fan.

He said: "I hope Leicester win the league. 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, Baggies midfielder Chris Brunt will see a specialist on Wednesday to discover the severity of the knee injury he suffered at the weekend.

Press Association

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