‘I’m just happy I saved Leicester from relegation!’ – Claudio Ranieri

8 Apr

Leicester City may be leading the race for the Premier League title, but manager Claudio Ranieri is content with simply saving the club from relegation.

The Foxes were one of the favourites for the drop last season before a late flurry of goals and results saw them finish six points clear of the bottom three.

With Nigel Pearson leaving his post and Ranieri taking the reins in the summer, the club continued their fine run to rocket to the top of the table and remarkably stay there for the majority of the campaign.

They’ve been unmoved at the top flight summit since the middle of January.

With only six games left, and nearest challengers Tottenham seven points behind in second place, Leicester are the overwhelming favourites to lift the crown, and complete one of the greatest underdog stories in sporting history.

If results go their way this weekend, the Foxes could seal at least a Champions League spot with victory over Sunderland on Sunday.

Yet, Ranieri is remaining calm about his side’s achievements and insist the team will not allow their success to distract them from closing out the season in style.

The Italian boss said: said: “What we do is important, before thinking about everything, then we can check the table. I’ll repeat to my players it’s important what we do.

“I can wait, the others can win all their matches. I must be focused. I expect Tottenham, Arsenal, everyone to win all their games and then I want to fight to achieve the Champions League. It will be a fantastic achievement.

“At this moment I don’t think behind me, I look forward and to the next match. Sunderland is a very difficult match. 

“I am very happy we saved the team [from relegation], that is important. Our fans continue to dream, a lot of children come to our training ground, it is fantastic.

“Everyone is looking at what happens in the last six matches, me too, I am very curious, but we have to wait. There are a lot of people pushing behind us and that’s important but it’s important to keep our feet on the ground.” 

If the Foxes beat Sunderland, they could seal a top four place if West Ham drop points against Arsenal on Saturday and Manchester United lose at Tottenham on Sunday. 

Ranieri won the manager of the month prize for March after three wins and a draw but is taking nothing for granted at the Stadium of Light, with Sunderland four points from safety.

He added: “Sunderland are desperate and it will be a big battle. Sometimes there is pretty football but I am waiting for a battle.”

Tune into talkSPORT on Sunday for EXCLUSIVE commentary of Sunderland v Leicester


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