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Alan Pardew comes to Claudio Ranieri's defence ahead of Leicester clash


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Alan Pardew has defended Claudio Ranieri's abilities as a manager and considers the Italian's 'Tinkerman' reputation to be harsh.

Before his appointment as the successor to Nigel Pearson at Leicester in the summer, Ranieri's reputation in England was of an eccentric individual overly concerned with rotating his squad.

His arrival at Leicester preceded widespread predictions that they would be relegated with him in charge, and recollections of his regime at Chelsea until 2004 when he made frequent changes to his team, but after a fine start to the season Pardew believes it is time the manager is given greater credit.

"I think it was a little bit unfair," said Pardew, whose Palace team on Saturday travel to Leicester in the Premier League.

"I used to go to a lot of Chelsea games when he was manager and he was rotating players and trying to motivate them by changing their position.

"It is what managers can do. And he was one of the first to really use the whole squad and keep the group together by using the whole squad. I don't really have a positive or a negative about it.

"As a manager, you have to call it as you see it. He has certainly not tinkered with this Leicester team. They have been pretty settled since he has been there."

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Significant Premier League attention has in recent weeks surrounded the bitter relationship between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, yet, despite the intense pressure each manager is under and the potential rivalries that exist, Pardew said that Ranieri is unusually widely liked.

"I think every manager who meets him and every coach who comes across him will have great respect for him because he always gives you time," he said.

"I have seen him in the background at football grounds for the last 12 months in the Premier League when he didn't have a job. He was always prepared to give you an opinion and a helping hand and a nice manner."

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