Leicester announce ‘unwavering support’ for Claudio Ranieri
League champions are battling relegation, putting Italian’s position under question
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has the full support of the club, they have announced. Photo: Getty Images
A miserable run of results has left the defending Premier League champions facing a relegation battle, with Ranieri’s future coming under increasing scrutiny.
However, the club issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon providing a vote of confidence for the 65-year-old who it seems will get the opportunity to salvage Leicester’s season.
“In light of recent speculation, Leicester City Football Club would like to make absolutely clear its unwavering support for its first team manager Claudio Ranieri,” the statement began.
“‘While there is a collective appreciation from everyone at the club that recent form needs to improve, the unprecedented success achieved in recent seasons has been based firmly on stability, togetherness and determination to overcome even the greatest of challenges.
“The entire club is, and will remain, united behind its manager and behind its players, collectively and firmly focussed on the challenges ahead.”
The statement was released in response to reports that Ranieri has been losing his grip on the dressing room after confusing players with tactics and team selection.
It seems his achievements last season, guiding Leicester to the Premier League title, has ensured the Italian has the support of the club’s Thai owners, despite winning only five league games this season.
Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United left Leicester just one point above the relegation zone and at the weekend they travel to Swansea — the team directly below them in the table.
More immediately, the Foxes face Championship promotion hopefuls Derby in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday night.
Ranieri must decide whether to make changes to his team with Sunday’s crucial clash at the Liberty Stadium looming large and possibly sacrifice a place in the fifth round or focus on building some much-needed momentum.
The loyalty shown to Ranieri is similar to that Nigel Pearson received two seasons ago, when Leicester spent much of the season bottom of the league before winning seven of their final nine games to stay up.
Pearson was dismissed that summer weeks after masterminding the great escape due to off-field matters.