Sunday 24 September 2017

Ranieri gets tough with players after club confirm his job is safe

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri Picture: PA
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri Picture: PA

John Percy

Claudio Ranieri proved he is getting tough with his Leicester City strugglers when he scrapped a scheduled day off yesterday.

Ranieri instructed all the players who did not start in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Swansea City to report for training as he prepares to shake up his squad for the FA Cup tie at Millwall on Saturday.

Leicester's players were not expected to return until today but Ranieri is taking action as he attempts to inspire a revival after a fifth Premier League defeat in a row. Ranieri held talks with chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after the game and was reassured that his job was safe, despite a disastrous title defence which has left Leicester now just one point above the relegation zone.

Srivaddhanaprabha left the directors' box two minutes before the end but is in no mood to change managers now.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan has revealed that the players held crunch talks last week in an attempt to start a recovery, branding their perilous situation as "a mess".

He said: "We are not in a good position. We have to turn it around sooner rather than later. We lost at Swansea and it is a bad result but there are still points to be won and we start to need winning.

"We had a big week talking, trying to put things right and trying to build the team spirit so we can get ourselves out of this mess. We wanted to draw a line under previous performances and pick up a win.

Bounce

"We wanted to show some determination, fight and hunger, and in bits we did that. But we can't keep a clean sheet and we concede at the worst times, and we can't bounce back at the moment. But we will remain positive and we still have games to get results out of."

Ranieri's team face a tough tie at Millwall before the Champions League first leg in Sevilla, followed by a home game in the league against Liverpool.

The pressure is building on the Italian but former striker Gary Lineker insists Ranieri's position should not be in jeopardy.

"I would give him a job for life. There are rumours about player unrest, which happens when teams are not doing very well, but they seemed all right the other night in the replay against Derby," he said.

"I think that (the vote of confidence last week) was sending a message to one or two players who feel a bit aggrieved. It sends a message to the team: 'This is our man, now get on with it.' I don't think that statement does any harm, as long as they mean it." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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