Sport Soccer

Monday 19 March 2018

Hasselbaink: Ranieri will be a hit

Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played under new Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea
Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played under new Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has backed Claudio Ranieri to be a hit at Leicester - and build bridges with the Foxes' fans.

The former Chelsea striker played under the Italian at Stamford Bridge and believes Ranieri can be the perfect fit for Leicester.

Ranieri was a shock choice to replace the axed Nigel Pearson last week and signed a three-year deal at the King Power Stadium.

Pearson was sacked last month - despite keeping the club in the Barclays Premier League - after a breakdown in relations with the board during a season where he told a fan to "f*** off and die", launched a bizarre ostrich rant at a journalist and grappled with Crystal Palace's James McArthur.

Pearson's exit came after his son James, along with team-mates Tom Hopper and Adam Smith, were sacked for their part in a sexually-explicit video in which racist language was used during a post-season trip to Thailand.

But Hasselbaink, who also worked with Ranieri at Atletico Madrid between 1999 and 2000, thinks his former manager will help to smooth things over at the Foxes.

He said: "Claudio is someone who has experience all over the world - France, Italy, Greece. Why would he not be successful? He knows the English culture and that is what he has got ahead of others who come over.

"As exciting it is for him it will also be for the club but you always have something to prove in football, every time you wake up you have to prove yourself.

"He is someone who communicates very well with people around him - he is very good at that - and he has that charisma. They like him for it and, with the fans, I think he will be a success."

Burton boss Hasselbaink would also not rule out a link-up with Ranieri which could see some Foxes players move to the Pirelli Stadium.

"Maybe, we have to have a look at what they have. I have always kept in contact with my old manager and it's a contact I'll be able to have in the future," he said.

"At the end of the day we have to look if they have players who can improve you. That's what it's all about."

Hasselbaink is preparing for Burton's first ever campaign in Sky Bet League One this season with the club training at St George's Park after renewing their deal with Perform and believes it gives them perfect preparation.

"It helps magnificently, the pitches, the gym, all the stuff which Perform gives us is very helpful and needed," he added.

"It's a magnificent facility. Not a lot of clubs in League One have what we have."

Perform, the official healthcare provider for St. George's Park, will continue their recovery specific research programme as part of the deal with The Brewers.

Press Association

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