No pressure on title-chasing Leicester, insists Ranieri

Date published: Saturday 2nd April 2016 3:05

Claudio Ranieri: Heads back to Chelsea as champion with Leicester

Claudio Ranieri: Heads back to Chelsea as champion with Leicester

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri insists his league leaders are ready for the Premier League title run-in and refused to pile the pressure on his side. 

The Foxes are currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League, and host in-form Southampton on Sunday.

Leicester are favourites for a stunning title success, with Tottenham their nearest challengers, after being tipped for the drop at the start of the season.

With seven games left Ranieri has moved to ease the spotlight from his team as he tries to keep them on course for an historic title.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman claimed Leicester should be “afraid” of his team, but Ranieri appears to disagree and insists his side are “enjoying” their football.

“There isn’t pressure – why pressure?” said the Italian. “The pressure was at the beginning when we had to be safe. After this we are enjoying. We are on a good run.

“We know everybody wants to beat us. We know everything is in our hands and we want to continue.

“Maybe now we have five points, maybe it will be three, two or one. It’s not important. It’s important to go out on the pitch and make a fantastic performance.

“It’s difficult to say which is the key. There are so many keys because it’s an extraordinary season with some exceptional things. We don’t know what is the true key.”

With the international break over, Ranieiri recognises the magnitude of the final six weeks of the season with the Foxes in unknown territory.

He said: “Of course, because never Leicester have been at this level at the end of the season to fight for something unbelievable. For us it is to be focused on the next match, without thinking of the next matches – step by step.

“The electricity was at the beginning and now continues to be strong. There is a good atmosphere and that is good before the match but after you have to be very focused.

“The training session today and tomorrow is important to make a group. When the players come from around the world it’s important now to compact everything.”

Only Jeff Schlupp is a doubt for Leicester after he suffered a knee injury with Ghana, with England pair Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater returning from international duty unscathed.

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