Thursday 19 April 2018

'We must make dream A reality', says Ranieri

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri waves to the fans after the final whistle. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri waves to the fans after the final whistle. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. newsdesk

Claudio Ranieri has urged his Leicester City players to "make the dream a reality" after inching closer to the Premier League title.

Leicester's demolition of visitors Swansea City extended their lead over Tottenham Hotspur to eight points and was a ruthless response to the absence of suspended leading scorer Jamie Vardy.

Spurs face West Brom at White Hart Lane tonight, but this was a huge statement from Ranieri and his players as they scored four goals in the league for the first time since August. Leonardo Ulloa scored twice, while goals from Riyad Mahrez and substitute Marc Albrighton had the Leicester fans chanting "Barcelona, we're coming for you".

With three games left to play in this fairytale season, Ranieri has now told his squad to finish off the job.

"This was important, because everyone wanted to see our answer without Jamie Vardy - and that was a fantastic answer in my opinion," said the Italian.

"We have a dream so far. Now, make the dream a reality. I am optimistic, I am positive. I know it's not easy, because, in my mind, Tottenham will win all their matches and we will need five points.

"Now there are only three matches, we know they are very important for our history and, for this reason, we give everything."

Vardy's personal hearing over his Football Association misconduct charge will go before an independent regulatory commission today as he fights against an additional one-match ban.

The England international will miss next Sunday's trip to Manchester United if further punishment is deemed necessary after he swore and jabbed his finger at referee Jon Moss following his red card in the match against West Ham eight days ago.

Ranieri said: "If Jamie takes another day off with suspension it's important to be solid - stronger than today, as United are a very good team.

"I am very pleased with Leonardo, he was Leicester's top scorer last season and he didn't lose his quality."

Swansea have now conceded seven goals in their last two games and this insipid performance will have done little to quash the theory that head coach Francesco Guidolin will be leaving at the end of the season.

While Brendan Rodgers, the club's former manager, is favourite to take back the reins at the Liberty Stadium this summer, Guidolin has demanded a swift response from his players.

"Forty points is not enough for us, in my opinion," said the Italian.

"It is not a good moment for us, but we can improve and finish well this season.

"Leicester deserve to win the title, because they are a very strong team." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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