Ranieri: Leicester's squad spirit back

LONDON • Claudio Ranieri believes Leicester City have finally rediscovered the defensive resilience that helped them to their fairytale Premier League title triumph last season.

The Foxes collected their first point on their domestic travels this season in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur after Ahmed Musa cancelled out Vincent Janssen's penalty.

Following four successive away defeats, it was a show of stubbornness that had been conspicuous by its absence on previous away trips to Stamford Bridge (3-0), Old Trafford (4-1), Anfield (4-1) and Hull (2-1).

"I'm pleased with the point, our performance and our spirit. We played together and we fought together," said Ranieri, whose side remain in mid-table.

"We played well against a good team. We can take confidence from this. Our defending was excellent, just as we did last season. It's important as we need to refind some confidence.

"Our spirit often this season has been singular, but here it was squad spirit."

Leicester have one foot in the Champions League knockout stages ahead of Wednesday's group game at Copenhagen.

But Ranieri said: "The pressure on us is to be safe (in the league). The Champions League is for another day.

"We concentrate on each game that comes, but this was a step in the right direction in the league, especially away from home."

Tottenham, who fell away to finish third behind Leicester and Arsenal last season, have now gone five games without winning in all competitions.

"It's important to score more," said manager manager Mauricio Pochettino.

"We need to be more clinical. We need to be more aggressive in the final third.

"After 10 games we have won five and drawn five. We are still strong and unbeaten in the league, that is very important. If want to fight for big things we need to improve."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Ranieri: Leicester's squad spirit back'. Print Edition | Subscribe