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English Premier League

Claudio Ranieri doesn't fear sack and is focused on Leicester City survival

Premier League champions sit 16th in the table ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Manchester United at home

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 February, 2017, 7:48pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 February, 2017, 7:48pm

The possibility of being sacked is far from Claudio Ranieri’s thoughts as the Leicester City manager is intent on ensuring the struggling Premier League champions maintain their top-flight status.

Following their stunning title triumph last season, Leicester have continued producing the unexpected, only this time they are battling relegation as they sit 16th in the table, two points above the bottom three.

“It’s not my philosophy to think about this. If my thoughts go there ... I remember what was said by my chairman the first time I met him. He said ‘if we go down will you stay with us?’ And I said ‘yes’,” Ranieri said.

“Now why do I have to think about this? I am thinking to fight and to survive. That’s it. I don’t speak about my position with the owner. Never do I speak with the chairman about my position.

“We know that is football. When everything is right, everyone is fantastic. When you start to lose, the manager is bad.”

Ranieri said he has no problem playing striker Leonardo Ulloa, who tried to force a move away from Leicester in January and accused the manager of betraying him.

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“Yes, he will play, don’t worry. He is a professional 100 per cent. I don’t know if Leo could give more because he always gives 120 per cent,” Ranieri added.

“Sooner or later, when he is ready, he will have the chance to play. There is no issue. He tried to say everything to push hard, but it is OK. He will fight, not for me, for Leicester. Everybody is fighting.”

Leicester host sixth-placed Manchester United on Sunday.