Leicester City’s Premier League title charge is back on track for Claudio Ranieri after surviving Norwich City scare
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Claudio Ranieri admitted Norwich City had tested his Premier League title hopefuls to the limit.
The Italian had warned Leicester to expect an obdurate display from the Canaries and it took until the 89th minute for Leonardo Ulloa's close range finish to revive their championship push after losing to rivals Arsenal last time out.
'I was so worried about this match, because after two weeks, your players can lose their tempo, but now I am very relaxed,' said Ranieri. 'It was a difficult match. Norwich played well and closed the space, but we believed until the end. This victory was very important to restart again after the Arsenal defeat.
'I said before the Arsenal match that Norwich would be more difficult. Both teams could have scored a goal in the final 20 minutes. Fortunately, it was Leicester who scored a goal at the end of the match. The conclusion I have drawn from this is that my players believe until the end. That, for me, is very important. If the other teams start to win, they can win all the matches we have left.
'But for us, the next match is always the final match. That is our mentality. I think we deserved to win and I'm very, very happy. You can't always play well, but I'd sign today if we can win 11 more matches from without playing well. It's not important now whether we play well or not – it's important we take points.'
Ranieri was keen to take his share of the credit for a pivotal cameo from out-of-favour striker Ulloa, who has had limited opportunity to impress this season behind the prolific Jamie Vardy.
'I put Ulloa on because I needed another goalscorer in the box, it was a good choice,' he joked. 'Everyone would like to play, but it's not possible. They believe in the project and they believe their team mates are playing well.
- 1 Murder inquiry as teenage woman dies after car crash in Norfolk village
- 2 Man in 30s dead, two arrested on suspicion of murder in Norfolk town
- 3 Man in 50s dies after medical incident in field
- 4 'Heartbroken' pet owner thanks community after missing dog found dead
- 5 Two recycling centres to be closed - and replaced with new £4m tips
- 6 How Covid restrictions will change in England this week
- 7 Devastated family wrongly told prisoner hanged himself weeks before release
- 8 Vicar’s astonishing outburst against the Bishop in town's long-running row
- 9 Wrestler sheds five stone in one last bid to chase his American dream
- 10 Customers travelling across Norfolk to try pub's 'afternoon sea'
'The team is playing well, top of the league. For me it's important to believe in them because, when I need some changes, they are ready. For this reason I've said many times we have a fantastic dressing room.
'Ulloa is happy but everyone is happy. When one man scores a goal, all Leicester City football club is happy.
'The goal was fantastic. We got the ball in our half and straight away we passed the ball to Riyad (Mahrez). He went one on one and (Marc) Albrighton was wide. We tried this because I wanted to spread out their defensive line with (Jeffrey) Schlupp on the left and Albrighton on the right, and with another striker close to Jamie Vardy and Mahrez behind. It was a good solution and we scored a goal.'