Claudio Ranieri insists Leicester City’s players remain happy with his management despite the club’s Premier League relegation battle.
The reigning champions were beaten 3-0 at home by Manchester United on Sunday, leaving Ranieri’s men only a point clear of the drop zone.
While Leicester have impressed in a maiden Champions League campaign, their league results have tailed off badly and the manager suggested on Friday that any discontented players should approach club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with their concerns.
However, despite the reverse at the hands of United – courtesy of goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata – Ranieri is adamant the group remain together.
“We are together,” Ranieri told Sky Sports. “I have full confidence in my players, and my players are confident in me.
“A journalist asked me and I said [that speaking to the chairman] is the only way if the players are not happy with me. But they are happy with me.”
Opposite number Jose Mourinho added that Ranieri deserves respect for his achievements, regardless of Leicester’s current struggles.
“[Ranieri] is the FIFA coach of the year – super deserved,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “It’s amazing work that will be in the history of football.
“In many, many, many, many years, people will remember Claudio Ranieri and what Leicester did last season. That deserves respect.
“This season is more difficult. The Champions League is something new for them. I have experience that you focus a lot on that and the match after the Champions League is quite difficult.”
Ranieri is now keen for his squad to move on from the successes of the last campaign and focus on the fight for survival.
“We have to forget last season,” the Italian added. “It was something terrific, but now we are Leicester and every game we have to fight – that’s it.
“We haven’t grown up. This is the same Leicester as in the last 10 years, and we know we have to fight.”