English Premiership

Ranieri: We need to stay grounded

Robert Huth (Getty Images)
Robert Huth (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The pressure is now on Leicester City's title rivals to remove the Foxes from the top of the Premier League table, manager Claudio Ranieri said after Saturday's thumping 3-1 league victory over Manchester City.

A brace from defender Robert Huth and another strike from winger Riyad Mahrez meant Leicester managed to open up a five-point gap with second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

"The pressure was on us at the beginning because our goal was to maintain our Premier League status, but now the pressure is on the other teams who spent a lot of money to win the Premier League and Champions League," Italian Ranieri told British media.

"It is important for us to stay concentrated and keep our feet on the ground.

"That is important because, for the first time in their lives, they are doing something special. It is important not to look behind you."

Ranieri admitted his team could be affected by the pressure of the title race but urged his players to use their experience of being in the relegation dogfight last campaign to their advantage.

"Pressure, it could be a problem, but it is important we stay calm... What they experienced last season may help because it was a big pressure for them," said the former Chelsea manager.

Leicester will look to dampen third-placed Arsenal's title hopes when they travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, knowing a victory would pull them eight points away from Arsene Wenger's men.