Tuesday 6 December 2016

Ranieri: We've lost our spark somewhere

Ian Herbert

Published 26/09/2016 | 02:30

Claudio Ranieri has been dejected in the aftermath of defeat. Photo: Reuters
Claudio Ranieri has been dejected in the aftermath of defeat. Photo: Reuters

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has said that the side have lost some of the spark that saw them claim their extraordinary Premier League title last season and are failing to "show their best".

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The side's 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford means that they have already lost more away games this season than in the entirety of their 2015/'16 campaign and in the aftermath of defeat Ranieri (right) said he could not even think about this week's Champions League tie with Porto because of it.

Claudio Ranieri instructs his team as Mourhino looks on. Photo: Getty
Claudio Ranieri instructs his team as Mourhino looks on. Photo: Getty

"Defending the title is not difficult. You just have to show your best," he said. "This year is totally different, not because the other teams know us better but because it is not [been] possible [for us] to make the same [level.] When we concede a goal why do we switch off?

"That for me is the more important thing. But we want to fight. We can lose a match but it is important to lose when you are satisfied you have made the maximum and [against United] we didn't make the maximum."

Though tomorrow's game against the Portuguese side is certain to be accompanied by an intense atmosphere at the King Power Stadium, the side have slipped to 11th in the table with top-eight sides Chelsea and Tottenham to come next month.

Defender Danny Simpson said that new rules on shirt-tugging in the area from corners - with referees told to clamp down - had affected the side, who conceded three of their four goals at Old Trafford from corners.

"I have to be careful what I say," he said. "It is in your mind, yes, we have seen a few decisions this season. It is something we have to learn to adapt to as players.

"They have changed the rules. The way it was last season, I thought we were very good at defending set-pieces and we made it tough for the opponents and you have been doing that for all your career and suddenly you have got to change it, but it's the same for everyone. But you can't concede three goals in ten minutes from set-pieces and we were already 1-0 down." (© Independent News Service)

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