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‘Leicester players were afraid of Italian tactics’

The Foxes, who are now title favourites after beating Man City on Saturday, made a pre-season pact with Claudio Ranieri.

Ranieri has guided Leicester to the top of the Premier League.
Ranieri has guided Leicester to the top of the Premier League.

CLAUDIO RANIERI HAS revealed his secret methods behind Leicester City’s shock charge for the Premier League title.

The Foxes secured a crucial 3-1 win at Manchester City on Saturday to build up a five-point advantage over Tottenham and Arsenal, who are level on 48 points in second and third respectively.

With many tipping the Foxes for relegation ahead of the season, Ranieri has overseen a staggering turnaround in fortunes and the Italian says simple instructions and hard work has been key.

“When I spoke with the players I realised that they were afraid of the Italian tactics,” Ranieri told Corriere della Sera .

To an Italian coach, football means trying to control the game by following the ideas and systems of the coach. You talk so much about football. They did not look convinced and neither was I.

“I told the players I trusted them and I would talk very little about tactics. For me the important thing was that they all ran hard as I had seen them do towards the end of last season.”

Along with taking unnecessary complexity out of his early approach with the Leicester squad, Ranieri prescribed plenty of rest to combat the rigours of a Premier League season.

My boys are training a lot, but not too many times,” he continued. “In England the game is always high intensity, it exhausts. You need to recover.

“We play on Saturdays and then Sunday is free for everyone. We resume on Monday with light training, the way they do it in Italy.

Tuesday is hard training, Wednesday absolute rest. Thursday another hard workout, Friday is preparation for the match, Saturday another game.

“I make sure the players have at least two days off from football each week. This is the pact I made with the players on the first day.”

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