Ranieri: Critics not important

Date published: Monday 20th July 2015 10:43

The former Chelsea boss has had nine jobs in the last 11 years and was considered a surprising hiring when Leicester named him as their replacement for the sacked Nigel Pearson.

Former Leicester forward Gary Lineker queried the appointment and experienced manager Harry Redknapp expressed surprise that Ranieri was able to “walk back into the Premier League”, having been sacked by Greece in November.

However, Ranieri, who has been given a three-year deal by Leicester, says the opinions of pundits are the least of his concerns.

Asked for his reaction to the criticism, Ranieri said: “I understand but I will work hard to make changes.

“I respect everybody but now my problem is not Lineker or Redknapp, my focus is on Leicester.

“Look, for me work is very important. I love my job, I want to improve all my players, I want to improve everything. I think it is good when the field speaks – the games, the points we achieve, are important. Other things are not important.

“Also in Greece I wanted to build something but it’s difficult to build on the sand.”

Leicester were bottom of the Premier League table at Christmas last year but went on a fantastic run towards the end of the season, surviving comfortably after winning seven of their last nine games.

And Ranieri added: “The target is to maintain the team improvement and to build a solid base, to start to approach the Europa fight.”

Ranieri was nicknamed the ‘Tinkerman’ during his Chelsea tenure but argues that his use of squad rotation proved to be ahead of its time.

And he also believes he has a good track record when it comes to giving young players their chance.

“Yes, I think everyone now rotates,” he said. “The Tinkerman was one, now there are a lot of Tinkermen.

“If you know me well, a lot of young players made their debut with me. (Gianfranco) Zola in Naples, John Terry at Chelsea. I’ll look around the academy.

“If there is somebody, I pick him and play him. I have no problem.

“If you remember, I had a couple of centre-backs, one was a Euro and World Cup winner, (Marcel) Desailly and (Frank) Leboeuf, and, when I watched John Terry in the second team, I picked up on him and I put him in the squad.

“If one player is good, he plays.”

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