Claudio Ranieri will give his Leicester City players a week off to recharge for their Premier League title push.
Leicester had their lead at the top of the table cut to two points following Sunday’s last-gasp defeat to Arsenal, with third-placed Tottenham the same distance behind after beating Manchester City.
Danny Welbeck’s winner deep into stoppage time punctured the rapidly building excitement around Leciester’s unlikely bid for glory that was bolstered by impressive triumphs against Liverpool and fourth-placed City.
Ranieri made a deal with his players that nine points from this run of matches would earn them some time away, with Leicester not involved in the fifth round of the FA Cup next weekend.
Despite faltering at Emirates Stadium, where right-back Danny Simpson was sent off with Leicester 1-0 up through a Jamie Vardy penalty, the Italian coach is still willing to uphold his side of the bargain.
“We make a little gamble with my players and they say to me, ‘If we make nine points will you give us one week away?’,” he revealed.
“Now we make just six points but in my mind I said, ‘Okay’. I was happy with one point from City and one point today, only two points, and we achieved three.
“I said, ‘Okay, it’s the same as if you won the match. Go home and we will see you next Monday.’ They deserve it. They made a fantastic performance today.”
Ranieri will head for his homeland but expects his players to have different taste when it comes to preferred holiday destinations.
“I don’t know where they go, Dubai maybe? They go wherever they want. [I will spend] one day in London and then I go to Rome.”
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