Belfast Telegraph

Ranieri: Leicester must maintain winning ways

By Phil Medlicott

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has stressed the importance of his men building on their FA Cup win over Everton when they face Chelsea next weekend.

The 2-1 third-round triumph at Goodison Park on Saturday was a first domestic away victory of the season for the Foxes.

That followed a win against West Ham and a draw at Middlesbrough in the Premier League, in which Ranieri's reigning champions are currently lying 15th.

The Italian is pleased with his side's recent efforts but has emphasised he will only see them as having "good momentum" if they can add a positive result from Saturday's home clash with the league leaders.

When asked after the Everton game how important the win had been, ex-Chelsea boss Ranieri said: "Look, it is important if we get a result now against Chelsea. Then there is a good momentum."

Leicester came from behind to claim the victory at Everton, substitute Ahmed Musa swiftly responding with a quickfire brace following Romelu Lukaku's opener for the hosts just after the hour mark.

And Ranieri said: "It was a good match. Of course, at the beginning Everton pushed a lot and wanted to score a goal.

"When we conceded, everybody wanted to react immediately, we put them under pressure and we scored two good goals."

Ranieri was full of praise for forward Musa, the summer signing from CSKA Moscow who doubled his goal tally for Leicester with a bundled finish after the ball had hit the post.

And the manager was also keen to give credit to his latest recruit, Musa's fellow Nigeria international Wilfred Ndidi.

Midfielder Ndidi made his Foxes debut in the cup tie after joining from Genk earlier in the week.

Ranieri said: "He had just two training sessions with us and he played with fantastic personality.

"He recovered a lot of balls, was good in the air, played well."

Along with Musa, who came on in the 35th minute for the injured Leonardo Ulloa, another substitute who made an impact was Gerard Deulofeu.

The Everton playmaker was thrown on by boss Ronald Koeman at half-time for his first appearance since December 10, and went on to produce a run and cross to set up Lukaku's goal.

"I had a chance to play minutes and this is what I want," the Spaniard told Everton's official website. But it's disappointing because we didn't win. I don't go home happy."

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