Ranieri praises Leicester's "heart and soul" following West Ham draw

Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri, has praised his squad for the fight they displayed in the Foxes' 2-2 draw with West Ham United at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Ranieri praises Leicester's "heart and soul" following West Ham draw
Ranieri was pleased following the Foxes' controversial draw with West Ham United | Photo: Getty

After watching his Leicester City team salvage a late draw against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon, Claudio Ranieri has praised his squad for the fight they showed in a fiery affair.

With the current table-toppers being behind in as late as the 93rd minute due to quick-fire strikes from Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell (following Jamie Vardy's opener in the first period), the Italian was delighted to see his team continue to pressurise their visitors and earn a last-gasp draw.

'Now we are happy'

Talking to the Foxes' official website after the absorbing match-up in the East Midlands, the former Chelsea boss was quick to highlight the positives that his team displayed in an extremely competitive game.

With defeat looking certain up until Jeffrey Schlupp was awarded a penalty in virtually the last second of the game, which Leonardo Ulloa slammed home, the 64-year-old saved special praise for his team for remaining "calm" and maintaining "the right spirit" until the final whistle.

Also saying that he was "very, very pleased" with the "heart" and the "strength" that his team put into the game, even after being reduced to ten men following Jamie Vardy's second-half dismissal, the ex-Inter Milan man echoed the thoughts of supporters, with the players exiting the King Power Stadium pitch engulfed by chants and applause.

'It totally changed the match'

Despite the immense effort and energy the Foxes put into the match, Ranieri did however reveal that Vardy's sending off mid-way through the second period did have an impact on the way they played their game. Nonetheless, as ever, the Italian refused to comment on the performance of referee, Jon Moss.

After watching England international, Vardy, open the scoring with his 22nd goal of the season, the popular Italian stated that his team were "playing normally" up until his speedy striker saw red. Going on to suggest that this "totally changed" the Foxes' approach to the game, there was almost a suggestion that the current Premier League leaders could have claimed the three points had he remained on the pitch.

Jamie Vardy departs the action following his red card | Photo: Getty
Jamie Vardy departs the action following his red card | Photo: Getty

On the other hand, he did however highlight that substitute striker, Ulloa, did a good job in compensating for the former Fleetwood Town forward's absence. With the Argentine netting the late equaliser, Ranieri went on to say that the ex-Brighton and Hove Albion striker was able to show his "quality" and "strength" despite not playing a huge part in the Foxes' season so far.