English Premiership

Ranieri urges Leicester forward

2015-07-20 17:18
Claudio Ranieri (File)

London - New manager Claudio Ranieri wants the real Leicester City to stand up in the coming Premier League season, he said on Monday in his first news conference since joining the club.

Leicester dismissed the controversial Nigel Pearson after the end of a season in which he was credited with saving the team from relegation.

Bottom of the table with nine matches to play, they appeared doomed, only to win seven of them and draw one, losing only to the champions Chelsea.

"The first part of the season was not so good and I don't understand why," Ranieri said of the club's first season back in the top flight for 10 years.

"After the 5-3 (win in late September) against Manchester United, something changed. But at the end, the character of the manager, the players and the fans made a miracle.

"A miracle, because the last part of the season was amazing.

"I want to know who is the true Leicester -- the first or the second. And I am sure (it is) the second.

"My goal is to make one point more next season, improve season after season."

Ranieri, 63, has not worked in England since 2004, when he was sacked by Chelsea one year into the new Roman Abramovich regime.

Since then he has been head coach of Valencia, four Italian clubs, Monaco and Greece.

Sacked after only a few months when Greece lost at home to the Faroe Islands in November, he blamed his difficulties there on the country's financial crisis.

"There are very big problems there, as everybody knows, and football is just a reflection of life," he said on Monday.

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