Football

Ranieri: Players happy with me

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has insisted that his players are fully behind him, following media reports suggesting he has lost control over his dressing room.

The Foxes are battling relegation this season, barely nine months after lifting the EPL trophy. They sit 16th in the table, a point above the bottom three after 24 games.

"Journalists ask about the players, and whether they are happy with me, and I can tell you they are happy with me," Ranieri told Sky Sports after yesterday morning's (Singapore time) 3-0 home loss to Manchester United.

"We are together, I have full confidence in the players, and also the players are confident with me.

"Normally, we never give up but, at the moment, the confidence is not so high.

"It is important to forget. Last season was something terrific. Now, we have to fight. We are Leicester and we fight."

Leicester, who are on a four-game losing run in the league and have won just twice in their last 15 top-flight games, host second-tier side Derby County in the FA Cup on Thursday morning before visiting relegation rivals Swansea City three days later.

Meanwhile, Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has blasted his team's "embarrassing" title defence.

EMBARRASSING

Schmeichel told Sky Sports: "It's not a situation that's comfortable at all. We're the reigning champions and, quite frankly, it's been terrible, it's been embarrassing.

"Let's not talk about last season, last season's gone, as you can clearly see.

"We have to improve right now. It's time for every single one of us, right from the top to the bottom of this club, to stand up and be counted because, if we don't, we're going to end up getting relegated, and nobody wants that." - WIRE SERVICES

Leicester CityeplClaudio Ranieri