Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel says title defence has been 'embarrassing'

Kasper Schmeichel and Robert Huth
Leicester are the only side in the top four English tiers to have failed to score in the league in 2017

Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has said the Foxes could be relegated if their "embarrassing" Premier League title defence continues.

The Foxes are just one point above the relegation zone following Sunday's 3-0 defeat at home by Manchester United.

Leicester are yet to win a league game in 2017 and have not scored in their previous five league outings.

"We're the reigning champions but quite frankly it's been terrible," Schmeichel told Sky Sports.

"Every player is hurting. It's not a situation that is comfortable. It's time for everyone to stand up and be counted because if we don't we're going to end up getting relegated."

Are the players behind Ranieri?

Premier League
Leicester City won the Premier League by 10 points last season

This time last year, Leicester won 3-1 at Manchester City to move five points clear at the top of the table and put them on course for an unexpected title.

Now they are 38 points behind leaders Chelsea with reports suggesting manager Claudio Ranieri has lost the support of his players.

Schemeichel would not comment on the speculation but Ranieri insisted his squad is behind him.

"We're together. I'm happy with the players and they're happy with me. We have to stay together and keep fighting," he said.

Leicester full-back Christian Fuchs said the players must start to show more fight if they are to pull away from trouble.

"We keep our heads high, we have to fight as a team and give everything until the last game," he said.

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

"We have to stick together. We are not there to stick our head in the sand, we want to fight back."

Former England international Jermaine Jenas, speaking on Match of the Day 2, said: "Watching the game against Manchester United, it was not a great performance, but I didn't see players downing tools, or players that had completely given up on a manager.

"I saw players low on confidence and not given much direction of where to play.

"In the stadium there seemed to be no atmosphere and the longer that continues, the more they will be in trouble."

'Ranieri deserves respect'

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Mourinho 'very happy' with clinical Man Utd

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had sympathy for his counterpart's predicament.

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December 2015, just seven months after winning the Premier League, and the Portuguese coach said Ranieri deserves respect for his achievement at Leicester.

"For many years people will remember what he did," he said.

"They are finding it difficult. But we know their strength well. I'm sure they will get enough points to stay in the league."

'If not for title, Ranieri would be gone' - analysis

Premier League
Leicester, who play Swansea in the Premier League next Sunday, are just two points off the bottom of the table

Ex-England defender Phil Neville, speaking on Match of the Day's Facebook Live, said: "As much as last season was an absolute fairytale, they have got to get that out of their heads quickly because they are in a relegation battle.

"Everyone kept telling me of the qualities of Leicester last season but I have not seen any of that - the hard work, discipline.

"They must have been wracking their brains but what they have got to do is shape up. Ranieri has to take some of the blame and find a system that will get them results."

Jenas added: "If Ranieri hadn't won the league last season he would have gone. He is in a tough spell. The fact the club are sticking with him is the right decision."

2015 16 table after 24 games
After 24 games last season, Leicester were three points clear at the top of the table

'They are in serious trouble'

Neville added on Match of the Day 2: "With the fixtures they have got coming up, you can't see where their next three points are coming from.

"In the next eight games, if they pick up one win, they will be lucky and that's why I think they're in serious trouble.

"The barometer is not last season when they won the league - that was a one-off - the barometer is two seasons ago when they had 21 points and were bottom of the league and won seven of their last nine games. They will have to do something similar."

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