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Under fire Ranieri given Leicester backing despite poor form

14:25 WAT 07/02/2017
HD Claudio Ranieri Leicester City
The Foxes insist their Premier League title-winning coach retains their "unwavering support" despite the club sitting just point above the drop zone

Premier League champions Leicester City have declared their "unwavering support" for manager Claudio Ranieri despite the club’s poor form.

The Foxes always knew it would be difficult to repeat last season’s title-winning heroics, but the 2016-17 campaign has brought them crashing back down to earth with a bump.

A maiden Champions League adventure has brought some solace, with a last 16 showdown with Sevilla to come later this month.

Simpson: We support Ranieri

It is, however, domestic struggles that are offering cause for concern.

Four successive defeats in the English top-flight have dropped Leicester to within one point of the relegation zone and seen serious questions asked of the playing and coaching staff.

Ranieri is facing the first crisis of his reign at the King Power Stadium, but the club have moved quickly to quash any suggestion that the Italian tactician finds his position under threat.

"In light of recent speculation, Leicester City Football Club would like to make absolutely clear its unwavering support for its First Team Manager, Claudio Ranieri," a club statement read.

"While there is a collective appreciation from everyone at the club that recent form needs to improve, the unprecedented success achieved in recent seasons has been based firmly on stability, togetherness and determination to overcome even the greatest of challenges.

"The entire club is and will remain united behind its manager and behind its players, collectively and firmly focused on the challenges ahead."

Leicester offered little resistance against Manchester United in their most recent outing, as the Red Devils swept to a comfortable 3-0 win.

Ranieri: Players happy with me

Ranieri admitted after that game that the “fairytale is over” for the Foxes, with fighting spirit needing to be summoned up to dig themselves out of their current hole.

They do have some crucial contests approaching, with a FA Cup fourth round replay with local rivals Derby County on Wednesday followed by a trip to Swansea City.

Leicester also have a meeting with fellow strugglers Hull City on the horizon, with the first leg of their continental clash with Sevilla and a home date with Liverpool sandwiched between two potentially pivotal fixtures.