Ranieri calls for concentration as Leicester edge closer to title


Claudio Ranieri has called for Leicester City to sustain focus after edging closer to the Premier League title on Saturday.

The leaders moved eight points clear at the top of the table thanks to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace that came courtesy of Riyad Mahrez's first-half strike.

Ranieri has challenged his players to keep pushing as they look to sustain their most unlikely of title charges after the international break, but says it is key to keep concentrating given the unpredictable nature of the division.

"We created three of four great chances to score, they created two. Until the end, you didn't know what's going to happen," he said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

"I ask for concentration, to be focused as it's an important match for us. Now it's up to the others to do something.

"It sounds good, our fans are singing a very good song about that but we are to stay calm because the Premier League is the same as every match, you don't know what will happen.

"We have to continue to push a lot because the Champions League is very close to us. Maybe in the next two matches I can say something more.

"I'm not dreaming [of the title], I make a comparison between the race for the title, and each match. You don't know what will happen until the end."

Leicester withstood some heavy Palace pressure in the second half, although a Damien Delaney effort that clipped the crossbar in injury time was one of few clear-cut chances the home side were able to create.

Captain Wes Morgan was delighted with his side's all-round display and admitted that keeping another clean sheet was a personal highlight.

"We were camped in at times, a lot of defending required, and it was a fantastic team performance," he said. "Keeping clean sheets is like scoring a goal for me and that's what matters.

"We can sense the end is near but there will be twists and turns so we want to remain focused and forget the hype."