Leicester City vs Sunderland: I am ready to fight for the Foxes, says new boss Claudio Ranieri

Former Chelsea boss says he wants his players to make the headlines this season, not himself, ahead of Premier League opening weekend

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The Independent Football

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says he is ready for a relegation scrap this season - because pressure at home from his wife is worse than anything journalists can throw at him.

The 63-year-old returns to a Premier League dugout this Saturday, 11 years and nine jobs after his Chelsea sacking, when the Foxes take on Sunderland at the King Power Stadium.

Despite being a popular figure in the game, the Tinkerman, a nickname he mentions frequently, is expected by many to fail in the East Midlands following his surprise appointment last month.

But Ranieri insists he has the experience to deal with the pressures of the job, citing his time at some of the biggest clubs in Europe, as Leicester look to avoid the dreaded second-season syndrome.

He said: "Managers are under pressure every hour. I am an older man, I am used to the pressure. I also have pressure when I am at home.

"When I am at home I am under pressure from my wife. I prefer to stay with you! When I don’t have a job, I am very nervous.

"When I have a job I am very calm, the pressure helps me to clarify everything. It is important to work with passion and heart.

"If the opponent is better than you, then you shake their hand and go onto the next match."

 

The former Roma and Inter Milan boss was talking at only his second press conference since replacing Nigel Pearson in July. Unlike his predecessor, however, Ranieri is confident it will be his players making the headlines this season.

"I love English football because it has my character, I am a fighter," he continued. "I want to fight for every match. In England everybody wants to fight against everybody.

"I don’t want to impress [the supporters], I would like my players to impress the fans and win for them. I heard last season how much they pushed the team, that is good.

"They must continue, not now, but a difficult moment will arrive this season. I hope to play good football because [Dick] Advocaat is a good manager, a Dutch manager, so it will be a very good match."

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