After watching his squad overcome a tough test at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening, Claudio Ranieri has decided to praise his Leicester City team for coming away with a "deserved" three points.
Thanks to a solitary Riyad Mahrez strike midway through the second half, the Foxes managed to return to the East Midlands with yet another victory; leaving them five points clear at the top of the Premier League going into the final nine matches of the season.
Obviously, Ranieri was delighted with the result, especially after seeing Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur drop yet more points earlier in the day. Nevertheless, the Italian insists that his team are still underdogs for the top-flight crown despite the great win against Quique Sanchez Flores' men.
'They were ready'
Talking to the assembled media after the evening match at the weekend, the former Chelsea boss hailed his team for the way that they went about their business in such a positive manner. Labelling the Foxes' performance as "fantastic" and stressing that his players gave "everything" for the cause, Ranieri's joy was easy to identify.
Also constantly highlighting the fact that his team were always "focused and professional", the 65-year-old seemed delighted with the attitude of his whole team during a "deserved win".
Nevertheless, he was also extremely happy with the contribution of his substitutes in Hertfordshire. Having introduced Jeffrey Schlupp and Andy King at half-time at Vicarage Road, the ex-Inter Milan man praised the duo for making a vital contribution to a winning display.
After the match, Ranieri stated that the two were "already ready" to have an impact and it was this vital intervention that allowed the East-Midlanders to assume "control" of the match and eventually "score a fantastic goal".
'We are running for something special'
However, the enigmatic Italian is not allowing himself (or his Leicester City team for that matter) to get carried away in the hysteria of a title challenge. Implying that the cushion that his team now currently possess is "nothing" in this "crazy" season, it is clear that the experienced campaigner is staying grounded. As a matter of fact, he has already turned his attention to another "tough match at home" when Newcastle United visit the King Power Stadium next Monday night.
On the other hand, in his words, the Foxes are now "working" and "running for something special" as the "fans dream". Therefore, he might not be completely ruling his team out lifting the Premier League title come May.