English Premiership

Lineker defends under pressure Ranieri

2017-02-14 16:05
Gary Lineker (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Former Leicester City star Gary Lineker believes manager Claudio Ranieri deserves to stay at the club for as long as he likes, despite their current relegation battle.

The Foxes are only one point clear of the Premier League relegation zone, less than a year after claiming the title against all odds.

Their poor run of form has put Ranieri under pressure, but Lineker is convinced that even relegation shouldn't cost the Italian tactician his job after what he achieved last term.

"I would give him a job for life, but this is football," Lineker told multiple English newspapers. "Even if they went down, it would leave a bad taste in the mouth if he was sacked after everything he did for the club last season and the way he handled everything. I would find it terribly sad."

"Even if they go down, it makes the legend even greater. If they go from staying up, after being on the brink of relegation, to champions the following season and going down the next, it almost improves the miracle of winning the title.

"It's still the most staggering, astounding thing that's ever happened. If you were to say to any Leicester fan, 'We'll take away the title in exchange of 10 years of mid-table safety,' they would all say 'No, it's fine, we'll just get relegated.'

"This is the reality; this is the price of living the dream and the miracle. Fans will always worry about their team, and it's not been as much fun for Leicester this year, that's for sure.

"But to have lived through what happened last year was magical, and if that means the knock-on effect has been difficult, so be it."

Leicester next face Sevilla in the last-16 of the Champions League where their form has been in stark contrast to their disappointing league form and Ranieri will be hoping that his side can cause an upset before a return leg at the King Power Stadium.

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