Claudio Ranieri has reacted to comments made by Kasper Schmeichel after the goalkeeper labelled their title defence “embarrassing”.
The champions have mounted the worst ever title defence with just 21 points from 24 games and they are in danger of becoming the first defending champions since Manchester City in 1938 to be relegated.
That prompted some angry comments from Schmeichel after the 3-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday and he fears the club could be relegated.
“It’s not good enough and it sums our season up at the moment,” he told Sky Sports after Sunday’s reverse against United.
“Let’s not talk about last season, last season’s gone, as you can clearly see. We need to stand up and be counted. This season from top to bottom hasn’t been good enough.
“It’s not a situation that’s comfortable at all. We’re the reigning champions and quite frankly it’s been terrible, it’s been embarrassing.”
Now, Ranieri, who has been publicly backed by the club, said: “Kasper is one of my leaders and he wants to stimulate everyone. The dressing room is fantastic, we have a fantastic relationship.
“This club, these players came from the bottom to win a title. They made all the steps and for this reason I am very confident.
“These players are warriors. They have already lived this situation. They know the problem, they know the enemy.
“Never before in my career did I win a title. I can say thank you all my life to the players.”
It seems Ranieri’s achievements last season have ensured the Italian has the support of the club’s owners, despite winning only five league games this season.
He insists Leicester are not in crisis and remains confident his players will fight their way out of relegation trouble after receiving a vote of confidence from the club.
A miserable run of results has left the defending Premier League champions facing a relegation battle, with Ranieri’s future coming under increasing scrutiny.
Reports also surfaced recently that Ranieri has been losing his grip on the dressing room after confusing players with tactics and team selection. In response, the club’s Thai owners issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon pledging their “unwavering support” for manager Ranieri.
The Italian, whose team are just one point above the drop zone after Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United, says the public backing was more for the benefit of the media and supporters rather than for him and insists he maintains a “fantastic relationship” with his players as he called for some perspective.
“It is not a crisis – you win three matches you are God, you lose three matches you aren’t God,” said Ranieri. “It is normal. In all of football and sport this is the same, it’s okay.
”I understand football. You need to speak, you need to write and when there is something good you have to do your job. I have to do my job and the job in football is this.
“I didn’t need to ask because for me it was normal. The statement finishes all the speculation but for me my job is always the same, focus on the next match.
“For me it is important to try the right solution for my players, that’s it. I have all the confidence of the club with me.”