Ranieri proud of Leicester’s shock success

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Despite being top of the league at Christmas for the first time in their history, Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri is determined to keep the players feet on the ground ahead of busy festive period.

Ranieri proud of Leicester’s shock success

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1. LEICESTER CITY MANAGER CLAUDIO RANIERI ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEICESTER CITY MANAGER, CLAUDIO RANIERI, SAYING:

“I think it is a fantastic achievement (to be top of the Premier League at Christmas). If I understood very well, never was Leicester, at this time, top of the league. We are very happy. When the manager and the players make happy the fans, it is fantastic.”

3. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEICESTER CITY MANAGER, CLAUDIO RANIERI, SAYING:

“Yes, I am very proud – I am very proud for my players, very proud for my fans. It is fantastic. But we have to work more. Now they (the fans) are dreaming and I don’t want to wake up them. We want for them to continue to dream.”

5. CAMERAMAN

6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEICESTER CITY MANAGER, CLAUDIO RANIERI, SAYING:

“If all the world are speaking about you? Play. Continue to play how you are doing. You can win, you can lose, it is okay. Sooner or later (you will lose) – I hope later but if we lose a match that is normal. But we must continue to play and to work hard. We know very well that our stamina is good and as long as our stamina is good we will continue to fight against everybody.”

STORY: Leicester City may be top of the elite league at Christmas for the first time in their 131-year history but manager Claudio Ranieri is still playing down title talk.

Ahead of festive matches against Liverpool and Manchester City, all the Italian would say was that if his team won both they would have 44 points, four more than the first objective he had set, to avoid relegation.

Leicester, who avoided going down in May thanks to a late run of victories under Nigel Pearson, began the season at odds of 1,000-1 to be top of the Premier League at Christmas.

That encouraged one optimistic fan to wager five pounds ($7.43) on them with bookmakers Ladbrokes.

The supporter celebrated after a 3-2 win at Everton on Saturday helped Leicester go into the holiday fixtures with a two-point lead over second-placed Arsenal.

Ranieri, who took over in the close-season after Pearson was sacked, told reporters on Tuesday (Wednesday 22) that he was incredibly proud of his players and that he wanted to keep the club’s fans’ dreams of a shock Premier League title, or a chance to play in European competition, alive.

“I think it is a fantastic achievement (to be top of the Premier League at Christmas). If I understood very well, never was Leicester, at this time, top of the league. We are very happy. When the manager and the players make happy the fans, it is fantastic,” said the Italian.

“I am very proud – I am very proud for my players, very proud for my fans. It is fantastic. But we have to work more. Now they (the fans) are dreaming and I don’t want to wake up them. We want for them to continue to dream,” he added.

However, Ranieri said he was looking no further than Saturday’s return to Merseyside to play Everton’s neighbours Liverpool and achieving the three points that would put the Foxes above the 40-point mark so often needed to avoid relegation in England’s top flight.

The former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Greece boss said that his team will lose eventually, but that the spirit in the squad meant he was confident the team would recover from any setback.

“If all the world are speaking about you? Play. Continue to play how you are doing. You can win, you can lose, it is okay. Sooner or later (you will lose) – I hope later but if we lose a match that is normal. But we must continue to play and to work hard. We know very well that our stamina is good and as long as our stamina is good we will continue to fight against everybody,” said Ranieri.

Tags : Success, Shock, Leicesters, Proud, Ranieri

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