Belfast Telegraph

Claudio Ranieri urges Leicester to move on from Champions League triumph

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has told his history-making Foxes to forget about their Champions League heroics.

They return to the Premier League when Burnley visit the King Power Stadium on Saturday after Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League win at Club Brugge.

Leicester marked their debut in the competition with a comprehensive victory at the Jan Breydel Stadium, their first European game in 16 years, to move top of Group G.

But the Foxes have lost two of their four games in the league, including last week's 4-1 defeat at Liverpool, as their title defence gets off to a slow start and Ranieri said if they lose focus against the Clarets he would sound the alarm.

"The problem is if someone is thinking of the (Champions League) music, then I ring my bell. If they think about the music I ring my bell," he said.

"I forget what happened. Of course that is the new challenge. Forget and think about next match. I'm used to this because always, in my career, when something happens it's finished.

"I'm used to this and now my players must be quick to change every time for the challenge. Forget Brugge, forget Liverpool. One we lost, one we won - it's finished. Clear your mind because in the next match, the opponent wants to beat us.

"We played well in Brugge in our first Champions League match. It was a good victory and I think everybody was happy and now our focus is the Premier League."

The squad flew back on Wednesday night and Ranieri insisted they cannot have any excuses if they fail to perform on Saturday.

"They've recovered very well and today they made a very good session. We don't have excuses. If they beat us it's because they're better than us - don't worry," he said.

"For us, everything is new and I want to see how they respond. They told me they are okay and they have to show me this on the pitch.

"Of course, Burnley want to increase the tempo because they might think we're tired but I don't believe it."

Danny Simpson is set to return after shaking off a hamstring injury which saw him miss the game in Belgium, while record signing Islam Slimani is primed for his league debut.

Matty James has suffered an ankle injury to leave him sidelined while Nampalys Mendy is out with his own ankle trouble but Jeff Schlupp could return to the squad following a muscle strain.


From Belfast Telegraph