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My players at Leicester didn't get me the boot, maintains Ranieri

By Robert Jones

Claudio Ranieri has denied player power lost him his job as Leicester manager, saying they did not "kill" him.

Less than a year after guiding the Foxes to a stunning Premier League title success, the Italian was sacked amid a relegation battle.

Several key players were unable to perform as they had done in the previous campaign, but form improved drastically after his departure.

New boss Craig Shakespeare won his first six games in charge - Ranieri's former assistant only suffered defeat for the first time against Everton on Sunday.

The swing in form added fuel to the stories that the players had forced him out, but he refuses to believe them.

Speaking for the first time since the sacking, he told Monday Night Football: "I don't believe rumours the players spoke to the Leicester owners about sacking me.

"The players got to experience something totally different. In pre-season they played against big teams, went all over the world.

"I don't believe the players killed me."

However, Ranieri did allude to someone behind the scenes having an involvement in his dismissal.

"Maybe it could be someone behind me, but maybe the little problem I had before the title, maybe they push a little more when we lose this year," he said.

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