Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fantastic comeback can be turning point – Ranieri

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Dec 2016

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Claudio Ranieri believes Leicester City’s thrilling comeback at Stoke City could prove to be a turning point in their faltering season.

The Premier League champions dropped to 15th in the table after picking up only their second point in nine league away games this season at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Leicester grabbed a 2-2 draw with goals in the last 16 minutes from Leonardo Ulloa and Daniel Amartey, despite having been two goals and a man down after Jamie Vardy’s controversial first-half red card.

Ranieri hopes the unlikely recovery can prove to be a decisive moment with his team now only three points clear of the relegation zone. 

“It was a fantastic spirit and we wanted to fight until the end so it was important for us to play well,” he said.

“It could be a turning point, but we have to wait and see the next matches.

“It was a fantastic performance because we were 2-0 down, one man less and we drew the match – similar to last season. I hope this is our turning point and we can produce other fantastic performances.

“At the start we were very dangerous and after the sending off everything changed, my players were so nervous. 

“During half-time we spoke a lot and had to believe something good was possible. I am always positive.

“At the end I needed some fresh players in the team and they made the difference.”

Vardy was sent off when the match was goalless for a challenge on Mame Biram Diouf, with Ranieri disagreeing with Mark Hughes’ assessment it was a “clear” red card.

The Italian had angrily confronted referee Craig Pawson after a first half that saw Vardy see red, five of his team-mates booked and a penalty awarded to Bojan Krkic.

“One manager says yes, one says no,” Ranieri said of Vardy’s dismissal.

“If you listen to me I say no, if you listen to Mark Hughes he says yes. I don’t know if he touched the player, but he touched the ball. 

“I was angry [at the referee] because I saw my players fight and there were so many yellow cards, but it was a normal battle in the Premier League.”

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