Ranieri urges Leicester players to fight for their futures

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After seeing his fringe players thrashed at Porto, the Foxes boss has urged them to fight for their futures before the New Year

Claudio Ranieri says his Leicester City players must fight to prove their worth before his mind can turn to the January transfer window.

The Premier League champions have struggled in the league this season, where they currently lie 16th in the table, and were then thrashed 5-0 at Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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Having already qualified for the last 16, Ranieri selected a much-changed lineup for that defeat, but the Italian says his fringe players must be given the opportunity to fight for their futures - even with the transfer window just around the corner.

"Everybody at the club has a job, and, of course, the recruitment area is working very hard," he told a pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday's game against Manchester City.

"They wait for me to say: 'OK, now I need this, this and this'. Until then, I want to check my players.

"We have to fight. Only the players who want to fight until the end will stay with me."

And Ranieri defended his decision to make changes to his side in Portugal, believing Leicester had earned that right by winning the group on matchday five.

"I made these changes because I could do this - Guardiola also made changes," he said. "So why not make changes when your players are tired? Why not give the opportunity to the other players to show what they can do?

"Now we have to be focused on these matches until Christmas day. We need points and we have to fight."

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