Saturday 14 December 2019

Claudio Ranieri confident he can get more from Islam Slimani

Islam Slimani scored Leicester's winner in their 1-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday
Islam Slimani scored Leicester's winner in their 1-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has thrown down the gauntlet to Islam Slimani after the striker's latest winner.

The forward scored to beat West Ham 1-0 on Saturday and the Foxes go to Middlesbrough on Monday still searching for their first Premier League away win of the season.

Ranieri's side are six points clear of the relegation zone and two ahead of Boro as they look to win on the road in the top flight for the first time since last April.

Slimani now has six goals for the champions following his record £30million move from Sporting Lisbon in the summer and Ranieri believes he can get better.

"Of course he can only improve. When somebody comes from another country it is not easy and some players need six or seven months or one year to be involved in the atmosphere of English football," he said.

"Slimani's header was a masterpiece. He scored six goals and it is good for us but we have to find him much better because he has very good quality and also he presses a lot and sometimes he can make mistakes because he is very tired but it is okay."

Slimani will go to the African Nations Cup with Algeria team-mate Riyad Mahrez this month and Ranieri hopes others will step into his place.

"Now (Jamie) Vardy comes back (from suspension), I have (Leonardo) Ulloa, I have (Shinji) Okazaki and I have some good players and I am very calm and very confident with all my players," said the Italian.

Defeat ended the Hammers' three-game winning run and they host Manchester United on Monday, the third time they have faced United this season after drawing in the league and a 4-1 EFL Cup defeat.

"It is a game that we are looking forward to and we want to take all three points," defender Aaron Cresswell told the club's official website.

"We know it is not going to be easy as they have some of the best players in the world, but we just want the three points and we are going to work hard to do that."

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