Thursday 17 January 2019

Relegation is foremost on Ranieri's mind

Leicester's Islam Slimani
Leicester's Islam Slimani

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has told the struggling champions to harness the spirit of their great escape after the Foxes' drop fears grew.

The champions are just two points above the Premier League relegation zone after Saturday's last-gasp 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough.

Islam Slimani's injury-time penalty rescued a point for the struggling title holders who have won just once in their last eight league games.

Leicester beat relegation under ex-boss Nigel Pearson in 2015 - before clinching the title with Ranieri a year later - by winning seven of their final nine games after looking certainties for the drop.

Ranieri admitted on Saturday for the first time a relegation battle was a possibility and he wants the Foxes to rediscover that great escape fight.

"They must play with the pressure, they must remember how it was two seasons ago. They must play with the same character," he said.

"We must live in two ways. One in the Champions League and one in the Premier League. In the Champions League we are so happy but in the Premier League we aren't happy. Then it's important to be focused on the Premier League.

"We have to reconnect their brains."

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