Leicester’s win over Southampton shows that they can cope with the pressure of moving clear at the top of Premier League, says manager Claudio Ranieri.
Wes Morgan scored as the leaders earned a fourth successive 1-0 win to move seven points clear of Tottenham, who drew 1-1 at Liverpool on Saturday.
The Foxes need 12 points from their final six games to guarantee the title.
“Everybody is waiting for us after Tottenham’s draw. We gave a very good answer,” said Ranieri.
It has yet to be decided which matches from the penultimate round of the Premier League season – on 7, 8 and 9 May – will be moved for television but, as it stands, this was the final time that Leicester would play their weekend match after second-placed Spurs.
Knowing that Tottenham had dropped points might have increased the pressure on Ranieri’s side – but they overcame it to move closer to their first top-flight title.
Leicester were 5000-1 outsiders for the title last August after narrowly avoiding relegation the previous season. Ranieri says his squad know they may not get another shot at glory.
“We believe it’s a magical season and next season won’t be the same,” he added.
“We try to do our best. Other teams can win 3-0, 4-0. We have to fight to win 1-0. We must be focused in our way.”
A long time in football
On this day a year ago, Leicester were bottom of the Premier League and seven points from safety, having lost 4-3 at Tottenham.
Striker Jamie Vardy had scored only once in six months and the Foxes has lost 18 out of 29 league games.
Leicester have played 41 Premier League games since – winning 27, drawing 10 and losing just four to complete a remarkable turnaround in fortune.
A very happy birthday
Leicester owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha travelled from his native Thailand to watch the win over Southampton on the eve of his birthday.
To celebrate his big day and thank Leicester’s fans for their support, the club gave away a free doughnut and bottle of beer to every ticket holder.
“We sung ‘Happy Birthday’ to him in the dressing room before the match and I asked the players to give him a good present, three points,” said Ranieri.
Srivaddhanaprabha and his party flew off in a helicopter – using the King Power Stadium pitch as landing pad – after the final whistle.
But not before taking a box of doughnuts for the flight.