Dreaded vote for embattled Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri was told he is safe from the sack on Tuesday (Feb 7).
Claudio Ranieri was told he is safe from the sack on Tuesday (Feb 7).PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Claudio Ranieri was told he is safe from the sack yesterday as the Thai owners of struggling Leicester vowed their "unwavering support" to the under-fire manager.

Ranieri's side are just one point above the relegation zone after Sunday's 3-0 defeat against Manchester United and speculation had mounted that the Italian was on the brink of being dismissed.

But amid reports Ranieri has lost his players' backing, Leicester's owners have tried to ease the crisis by making it clear they still believe in the Italian who led the Foxes to an against-the-odds Premier League title triumph last season.

"In light of recent speculation, Leicester City Football Club would like to make absolutely clear its unwavering support for its first-team manager Claudio Ranieri," a statement on the club's website read.

"While there is a collective appreciation from everyone at the club that recent form needs to improve, the unprecedented success achieved in recent seasons has been based firmly on stability, togetherness and determination to overcome even the greatest of challenges.

"The entire club is and will remain united behind its manager and behind its players, collectively and firmly focused on the challenges ahead."

  • -29 

    Leicester have amassed 29 fewer points than they did at this stage last season. This campaign, after 24 games played, the champions' 21 points leave them just one point above the drop zone.

With an FA Cup fourth round replay against second-tier Derby looming, Ranieri will welcome the show of confidence.

But an embarrassing defeat to their local rivals at home would put the pressure back on Ranieri, whose team have lost their last four league matches and face a crucial clash at fellow strugglers Swansea on Sunday.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'Dreaded vote for embattled Ranieri'. Print Edition | Subscribe