Claudio Ranieri not worried about potential Leicester relegation despite poor league form

Claudio Ranieri not worried about potential Leicester relegation despite poor league form

Claudio Ranieri insists he has no qualms over Leicester City's chances of relegation from the Premier League, the English champions currently sat just two points above the bottom three after a disappointing start to the season.

Charlie Malam

Claudio Ranieri insists he isn't worried about Leicester City's chance of relegation regardless of their alarming start to the Premier League season.

Last year's champions have only won three of their first 12 league games, with defeat to Watford on Saturday confirming back-to-back losses for the first time in 22 months.

The Foxes are just two points ahead of 18th-placed Hull City on 12 points, which is 13 less than they had at the same stage last season. They have also scored 11 less goals, with the prospect of relegation currently a tangible possibility.

But Ranieri is confident his team can produce a reaction to their below-par recent results.

Speaking ahead of his side's Champions League group stage clash with Club Brugge, the Italian admitted that he doesn't understand their recent form because their team spirit remains the same.

Ranieri 'not happy' with recent results

"I'm not happy about it, but I'm confident that we will respond," he told journalists, before declaring that he is not concerned by potential relegation because it is "too early to speak about such things."

He added: "I don't understand because in the Champions League we won in Bruges and we drew in Copenhgaen. So it's strange to say in this period, when the opponents have the first chance, they score a goal."

Ranieri declared that Leicester are fighting to "find the solution" at the moment, but said that the "spirit is the same" within the squad.

"I am not happy but I'm very confident," he continued, "I'm happy for the performance, for the spirit, for the cohesion of the group, but of course I'm not happy with the results."

Champions League is no distraction, vows Foxes boss

Ranieri also denied any suggestions that the Champions League has served as a distraction for his team, with Leicester having won three of their four European games and kept four clean sheets.

He insisted that rather than a distraction, European football is something for Leicester and the squad "to enjoy" and added that he doesn't "see the difference" between that and the league.

"If you see the match against Watford and the match against Kobenhavn or Brugge or Porto, it's the same," Ranieri said. "The difference between those matches is we score in the other matches."

He insisted that they were "very focused" against the Hornets, acknowledging that they "scored twice" but praising his team for how they "reacted very well."

Ranieri feels that "means you want to do something" as he explained: "If you were thinking about the Champions League game, you concede the goal and you're down and maintain this without reacting. But we reacted very well."

He noted that their entire campaign has been "this way" because on every occasion an opponent has had their "first chance" of a game they "score a goal" whereas last season it was the opposite way round as was "easier" because "normally we started 1-0 for us."

Ranieri added: "Our focus now is on trying to win against Brugge and then going back to the Premier League and trying to improve our position in the table."

"We must find new solutions to create chances"

Ranieri also noted that there is some concern over their creation of chances.

Riyad Mahrez has played only a single pass to Jamie Vardy across their last seven games in all competitions, a spell has seen them spend 356 minutes on the pitch together. 

Compared to last season, when they were crucial in laying on a combined 41 goals and 17 assists last term, Ranieri said: "Yes, of course I’m worried about creating chances. 

He suggested that rival teams now "close the space very well" which means Leicester "must be able to find new solutions", adding: "Also, when we find good solutions, there is a wall in front of us."