Ranieri warns Foxes of relegation

LONDON • Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has urged his players to forget their fairytale run to the English Premier League title last season and be wary of dropping into the relegation zone this campaign.

The Foxes, who are two points above the drop zone, travel to bottom side Sunderland today hoping for a first away win of the season to lift them up the table.

"Believe me, I have forgotten completely what happened last season," Ranieri told the club website. "This is a new season and we have to react and come back.

"We know it will be a very, very tough match on Saturday.

"Two points (from the relegation zone) is not satisfying. We have to be strong, play together and fight together."

Leicester, who have 13 points from as many games, are 14th after managing to win just three league games this season.

But Ranieri said Leicester - who yesterday announced that they have reached an agreement in principle with Racing Genk to sign teenage Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi in January for £15 million (S$27 million) - must continue to display the character they showed in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough when they fought back twice to share the points.

"It was a very dramatic final but everybody believed that we could draw the match and at the end we drew the match. This is the spirit that I love," said the Italian.

Sunderland are looking to bounce back from the 2-0 defeat by Liverpool that saw them drop to the foot of the table.

Winger Adnan Januzaj is confident Sunderland can produce a repeat of their last fixture at the Stadium of Light, when they beat Hull 3-0 to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation fora fifth consecutive season.

Victory would leave Sunderland just two points behind Leicester.

"Leicester won the league last year, but we're at home, and it's a game we should be aiming to win," said Januzaj, who hopes to make his first start for more than two months after an ankle problem.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2016, with the headline 'Ranieri warns Foxes of relegation'. Print Edition | Subscribe