Claudio Ranieri insists Leicester City do not feel any pressure to win the Premier League despite holding a five-point lead over Tottenham and Arsenal.
Leicester needed an impressive run in the second half of 2014-15 to avoid relegation and they have maintained that form in stunning style this season to hold top spot with just 13 games to go.
Ranieri’s men are now among the favourites to win the title, but the 64-year-old Italian is adamant his players remain unaffected by mounting expectations ahead of a huge clash with third-placed Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
“The pressure’s on the others. Tell me why we have pressure? Why must I feel pressure? We just continue to dream with our fans,” Ranieri told a media conference.
“I think we work so hard to achieve this level. We want to stay at this level. There’s no pressure for us.
“It’s a crazy Premier League. If it was a normal league there would be a big gap but we will fight to maintain our position. This time I hope the bookmakers are right. They’re just words though, not points. Give me points! If Leicester are top of the league then it means there are no easy games in the Premier League.
“Life’s short and it’s important to be happy. Lots of people have difficult lives. We must respect each other. I’m a lucky man.”
Leicester will still be without Matty James (knee) and Jeffrey Schlupp (hamstring) for the Arsenal match, but both are slowly on their way back to full fitness.
“James is working inside with the physio,” Ranieri said.
“Schlupp is starting work outside with us. After Norwich, he will come with me in the first-team squad,” he added, referring to the home game against the Canaries on February 27.