Leicester, Feb 8 (IANS) Manager Claudio Ranieri has said there is no pressure on his unheralded Leicester City side who have surprised everyone to be at the top of the English Premier League but has asked his players to keep their “feet on the ground”.
Leicester moved five points clear at the top with a 3-1 win over Manchester City on Saturday.
“I am enjoying it and also my players must enjoy it – until Tuesday anyway, then focus (on Arsenal). We want them to train the same as they play. It’s important for us to concentrate and keep our feet on the ground,” Ranieri was quoted as saying by Skysports on Monday.
“That’s important because it’s the first time in their lives that they are doing something special. So it’s important not to look down or behind you. Like a climber, you need to look up. If you look down, you go: ‘Oh! My God, look where we are!'”
Ranieri also insisted that the pressure is on the “bigger clubs” now to try and chase down Leicester.
“Of course the bigger clubs are nervous but it doesn’t matter to me, it’s not my problem,” he said.
“For Leicester the pressure was at the beginning of the season when we started out because our goal was to maintain our position in the Premier League but now the pressure is on the other teams who have spent a lot of money to win the Premier League, the Champions League.”
The 64-year-old Italian believes the spirit to survive last season is what is making them do well this time around.
“Surviving relegation last season helps because that was a big, big pressure for them. Now they can remember the pressure they faced last season, they can smell how it was and stay calm this season,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly if the pressure was bigger last season but I would think, yes – if you don’t survive and go down it’s difficult to come back: that is helping the spirit now.”