REUTERS – Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has backed his squad to build on their “fantastic half-season” ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against relegation-threatened Bournemouth.
Leicester, who were on the brink of relegation last year, are behind leaders Arsenal only on goal difference and have taken the league by storm, having won 11 of their 19 matches so far.
“We’ve had a fantastic half-season, it’s unbelievable what we are doing and we must continue. We are building the team, building the personality,” Ranieri told reporters on Thursday.
“We are building our minds at the top to fight. I know our fans are dreaming but it’s important to remember where we started.
“We will fight, right until the end and we want to win. If we give 100 percent then we accept every result.”
Ranieri also said he was confident his players will not over indulge during New Year’s Eve after he confirmed the squad have been given permission to celebrate.
“They can celebrate, they are very, very good professionals. It’s important to celebrate, to enjoy it, because it was a fantastic 2015 but afterwards we have to put our minds on Bournemouth,” the former Chelsea manager said.
“They are a very dangerous team. For us it’s important to concentrate 100 percent.”
Leicester failed to end 2015 in top spot after they played out a goalless league draw against Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.
“We are a little disappointed we didn’t make the most of our chances but 0-0 against Man City is a result to be proud of.” captain Wes Morgan told British media.
“We are halfway now and we want to push on in the second half of the season.”
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)