Ranieri: Leicester slump is ‘unbelievable’
|Alfie Mawson 36
Martin Olsson 45+2
Claudio Ranieri acknowledged Leicester City cannot continue haemorrhaging defeats after Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Swansea City left the Premier League champions one point above the relegation zone.
Swansea defenders Alfie Mawson and Martin Olsson struck in the first half at the Liberty Stadium to condemn Leicester to a fifth successive defeat and 14th of the campaign in total.
Leicester manager Ranieri has seen his side go six league games without scoring and he knows something must change if their historic title success is not to be succeeded by a historic demotion.
“I wanted the start of a ‘new season’ today, but it is the same. It is unbelievable,” said the Italian, whose side sit one place above the bottom three with 13 matches of the season remaining.
“We started well, but their first two shots on goal are goals. It is very difficult to come back from that. It is unbelievable, this season.
“We have two problems: conceding goals and not scoring. We have to speak together to find the solutions. It is not possible to continue in this way.”
Ranieri was backed by Leicester’s Thai owners King Power prior to Sunday’s game and while he conceded Swansea showed more appetite for battle, he believes fortune is currently working against his team.
“The machine is not broken, but when you don’t play at a maximum level, it is a difficult battle. They were more determined than us, that’s the truth,” he said.
“We stay together. We work very well in training, but we need a little luck to move our confidence. I am very strong, very confident. I believe in everything.“It just takes the right moment to turn this around.”
Ranieri now faces mounting speculation about his future, but Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater said the players remained firmly behind the 65-year-old Italian.
“It’s down to us on the pitch what happens. The manager has our support and we have his support,” Drinkwater told Sky Sports.“It’s about time we showed that belief and push ourselves a bit more.”
Ranieri, meanwhile, hinted in his post-match press conference that he had shown too much faith in last season’s title heroes and would need to shake up his starting XI.
Leicester visit third-tier Millwall in the FA Cup fifth round next weekend before travelling to Sevilla for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie the following Wednesday.
They are not in league action again until a home game with Liverpool on February 27.