Ranieri: We are the Foxes and the Foxes are fearless

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Claudio Ranieri wants to see the response of champions from Leicester City after his side's worrying slide down the Premier League table.

A far cry from their remarkable exploits last season, the 2-0 reverse at home to Everton on Boxing Day was Leicester's fifth defeat in the past eight league matches, with a solitary win during this period.

It means Ranieri's men sit precariously three points above the relegation zone as they prepare to host West Ham on Saturday and reach the halfway point of the campaign.

"We are unhappy, no one is happy," the Italian told a pre-match news conference.

"The chairman, me, the sporting director, the staff, the players, we have to react as soon as possible. We will stay together with a strong dressing room mentality.

"We have to show all these good things on the pitch. We want to reach 20 points, we have to win against West Ham.

"We have to concentrate 100 per cent, we have to fight because when we concentrate we can show our best performance.

"We are the Foxes and the Foxes are fearless. We know very well we are in the battle and we are ready to fight."

Ranieri is ready to recall last term's PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez after benching the winger versus Everton and demanding an improvement in his form.

He sounded a more conciliatory tone before facing West Ham, suggesting the 25-year-old had also been taken out of the firing line due to fatigue from his efforts in the 2-2 draw versus Stoke City.

"Against Stoke he worked so hard, so I gave him rest. Now he will play and I see his reaction," Ranieri explained.

"I am waiting for a very good reaction." 

Jamie Vardy serves the second game of a three-match suspension at the weekend but fellow England international Danny Drinkwater could be back in the starting XI.

"Drinkwater could be [in the starting line-up] because he played 45 minutes [against Everton]," Ranieri added.

"He works well and I think he could start from the beginning."