Belfast Telegraph

Leicester stars handed New Year's Eve pass by Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri has given his Leicester stars permission to celebrate on New Year's Eve - as long as they avoid a Bournemouth hangover.

Leicester go into 2016 second in the Barclays Premier League behind leaders Arsenal on goal difference after only beating the drop last season.

They host the Cherries on Saturday and Ranieri trusts his players to see in the new year without damaging their title chances.

He said: "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.

"They are a very dangerous team. Bournemouth lost five in a row but before losing to Arsenal (2-0 on Monday) they made a fantastic positive run.

"For us it's important to concentrate 100 per cent."

Jeff Schlupp remains out with a hamstring injury but Jamie Vardy is fully fit following a virus and Ranieri, who has lost just two league games this season, wants his side to maintain their form in 2016.

"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," he said.

"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 per cent then we accept every result."

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