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'Ranieri keeps us grounded'


Claudio Ranieri Photo: PA

Claudio Ranieri Photo: PA

Claudio Ranieri Photo: PA

Leicester winger Jeff Schlupp insists boss Claudio Ranieri has managed to keep the table toppers grounded.

The Foxes are five points clear at the head of the Premier League ahead of tonight's visit of Newcastle.

Tottenham cut the gap to two points after their win at Aston Villa yesterday, with the top two looking increasingly like the only challengers for the title in the run-in.

Ranieri has repeatedly refused to talk about the Foxes' chances of winning the league and Schlupp believes the Italian's influence has been key. He said: "It just humbles everyone and keeps everyone grounded. We definitely don't want to get carried away and the way the manager has been with us has really just kept us there, kept us going and he always makes sure we keep working, working and not slacking at anything. I think that's important."


One of Ranieri's methods for keeping his players alert in training was to ring an imaginary bell - 'dilly ding dilly dong' - and Schlupp believes it has been useful.

He said: "That's one of the manager's favourite phrases! It just means to keep alert really and that's what we've been doing.

"He just uses it when people are a bit low or getting comfortable with what they're doing, it's almost like a wake-up shout, so you can imagine him using that quite a lot."

Schlupp has just returned after three months out with a hamstring injury, but helped the Foxes to a 1-0 win at Watford last week and said Ranieri has the squad's complete faith.

He said: "He's called the Tinkerman but he just keeps working. We've got to trust our manager and trust his decisions.

"That's what he gets paid for, that's his job so we leave that to him. That's his decision so we just do what he wants and be ready if we're called upon."

Leicester v Newcastle, live sky sp 1 (ko 8.0)