Ranieri: Vardy, Slimani, Mahrez the ‘strength of Leicester future’

Date published: Friday 14th October 2016 12:44

Claudio Ranieri: Not worried despite struggles

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri is trying to fine-tune his attacking trio of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani.

Ranieri is conducting special training sessions with the three players in order to develop a better understanding between them.

The Italian has compared Vardy to a radio because of the incessant noise he makes and he wants them all on the same frequency.

Once they are all tuned in, the Foxes boss believes his front three can cause major problems for Premier League defences.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to his former club Chelsea, Ranieri said: “There is a very good link between the three and I think this is the strength of our future.

“In the training sessions I put the three together to manage better and better every situation. I believe in these three guys. There are special sessions, and also when we play matches they stay always together so they can link every time better, to get a better understanding.”

Slimani, a £30million signing from Sporting Lisbon in the summer, has already made an impact by scoring three goals in five appearances for Leicester – including the winner against Porto in the Champions League.

But Ranieri insists it is still a case of Slimani understanding his new team-mates, as it is for the rest of the Leicester squad to become familiar with his strengths and weaknesses.

“Slimani’s impact was very good but now he has to improve more how we play, how we move,” said Ranieri.

“I am speaking a lot with him, he is intelligent tactically. He has to understand the Premier League and then he will improve more and more.

“Other team-mates have to understand his movement too – he is very strong in the air and can hold the ball. It is important the others go around him to play and make the movement. All the opponents know if they leave space behind then Jamie can kill them.

“We have to surprise them and change something. We have to manage better this opportunity with Jamie, Slimani and Mahrez.”

Last season, Ranieri refused to disclose his personal nickname for Vardy but spoke about it after the striker wrote about it in his book.

He added: “I said I heard this word and I say you are it. He is like the radio – always ‘blah, blah, blah!'”

Ranieri hopes to have midfielder Danny Drinkwater fit and available at Stamford Bridge.

Drinkwater was not available for selection for England’s recent World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia as he had a groin injury but he has since resumed training and will be assessed on Friday.

Nampalys Mendy has been absent since limping off during the goalless home draw with Arsenal on August 20 but it seems his ankle injury is likely to keep him on the sidelines for another week.

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