Claudio Ranieri: Leicester City back Italian coach despite poor form

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No crisis at Leicester - Ranieri

Leicester City have given their "unwavering support" to manager Claudio Ranieri despite the reigning Premier League champions being just one point above the relegation zone.

The Italian had been under pressure after a run of just two wins in their last 15 Premier League games.

However, the Foxes said in a statement that "the entire club is and will remain united behind its manager".

"This is not a crisis," Ranieri said following the club's backing.

"When you aren't winning you lose confidence, it is normal."

Leicester play Derby County at home in an FA Cup fourth round replay on Wednesday and club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha will be flying in from Thailand for the game - but also to give a public show of support to Ranieri.

Leicester are 16th and are without a league win in 2017.

Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel called the club's title defence "embarrassing" after Sunday's 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United.

Leicester acknowledged that "recent form needs to improve", but said Ranieri would be given the opportunity to turn things around.

"The unprecedented success achieved in recent seasons has been based firmly on stability, togetherness and determination to overcome the greatest of challenges," the club said.

Leicester's last two seasons after 24 games
SeasonPositionPointsWonLostScoredConceded
2016-1716th215132441
2015-161st501424426

Ranieri has 'fantastic' relationship with players

Ranieri guided Leicester to the Premier League title last season despite the Foxes being 5,000-1 shots.

They won the league by 10 points but face becoming the first defending champions to be relegated since 1938, after winning just five league games so far this season.

Recent reports suggested Ranieri had lost the support of his players, with the 65-year-old's squad tinkering and supposed ban on chicken burgers angering some of the Leicester squad.

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Leicester City 0-3 Manchester United: Ranieri admits Leicester lacking confidence

However, Ranieri denied any unrest and said he has "a fantastic relationship" with his squad.

"The dressing room is fantastic," he said.

"Never have I seen a chicken burger, only deep fried chicken. It's fantastic.

"The dressing room is fantastic. We try to do our best, but this season everything is wrong."

FA Cup live on the BBC
Leicester host Derby County in an FA Cup fourth-round replay at King Power Stadium on Wednesday and it is live on BBC One and online (19:30 GMT)

Analysis

BBC Radio Leicester's Jason Bourne:

"Claudio was upbeat and thoroughly charming as he showed no signs of pressure during his news conference this afternoon.

"Leicester City are struggling in the Premier League and haven't scored a goal in the competition since 31 December, but you wouldn't know it from speaking to him today.

"He suggested the club's statement was for us in the media rather than for him - but what it does show is that the club are prepared to be patient with him.

"Nigel Pearson initially struggled in his first season in the top-flight but the club backed him and he led them to the 'greatest escape'.

"Here's my concern, though. There was real evidence of fight then but I'm not so sure that steeliness and determination is as prevalent now. I fear for the club this season, but they do have the capability to stay up. I hope they go out there and prove themselves once again.

"Kasper Schmeichel has come out with some strong words and the rest of the players could do well to heed his advice."

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