Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ranieri lauds in-form Leicester

SoccerNews in English Premier League 15 Aug 2015

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Claudio Ranieri offered a glowing assessment of Leicester City’s assured 2-1 Premier League win at West Ham.

City stormed to a 4-2 opening day victory over Sunderland in the Italian’s first game at the helm and they backed it up with another impressive showing at Upton Park on Saturday.

Well-worked goals from Shinji Okazaki – his first since joining Leicester from Mainz during the close season – and last week’s two-goal hero Riyad Mahrez meant Ranieri’s men were 2-0 to the good at half-time.

Dimitri Payet reduced the deficit in the 55th minute but West Ham were unable to force an equaliser, leaving Leicester at the top of the embryonic Premier League table.

“All the match was good for us,” Ranieri told BBC Sport. “We are playing well.

“All the players play like a team, they play with the ball on the ground and it is important to increase our stamina and fitness, and also our mentality.

“We are working very hard with the defensive line. I have very good players in front, very fast but it is important we all stay together.”

The former Chelsea boss did identify room for improvement, however, stating that his defence dropped deep to invite West Ham pressure during the closing stages when Kasper Schmeichel saved to deny Diafra Sakho from point-blank range.

Ranieri added: “I didn’t want to defend too deep but when you see your players go deep it is better to help them with their mentality.”

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