Watford: Claudio Ranieri admits Leicester are going through a bad period but insists there is no problem with the spirit of his side despite their alarming slide down the Premier League.
Last season's champions have struggled to recapture the form that delivered the title to the King Power Stadium, and now sit just two points above the relegation zone with almost a third of the season gone.
An Etienne Capoue strike after just 32 seconds paved the way for a 2-1 defeat at Watford on Saturday that extended Leicester's dismal run of form away from home.
But Ranieri is adamant his team is capable of turning things around. "It's just a bad period now. This period shows how big was last season. That's it," the Italian said. "Now we are in 2016-17 and we have to react, to keep going with this period, but of course, stay stronger and concentrate from the beginning of the match every time. If you analyse the two goals Watford scored, they scored two fantastic goals. Not the confidence. If you don't have confidence you slip down and don't try to do the reaction. No, we reacted very well.
He added, "There is no problem with away matches. It's a problem when we concede a goal. When the opponent scores after 35 seconds and a second every team goes down and we react very well. We reopen the match and try to do our best. The spirit, everything was right. At the end we deserved to draw the match. We left some good chances also to them to finish the match. But I'm very pleased with our performance. The spirit of the team is fantastic. I'm proud of them."
Roberto Pereyra netted Watford's second after 12 minutes and while Riyad Mahrez brought Leicester back into the game with a penalty three minutes later, Ranieri's side continued to look vulnerable and were unable to find an equaliser.
For Watford manager Walter Mazzarri, the win was the perfect response to the 6-1 defeat at Liverpool last time out. "I'm happy to win. It doesn't matter that they were the champions of England. Mainly I'm happy with the performance because the team played as I like," he said.
"Especially after the big defeat against Liverpool. The players showed they are a great team. We worked a lot on the pitch after that game and we concentrated a lot on improving physically. We worked on the psychological side of the game. The guys were great. They managed to forget the defeat against Liverpool as if it was an error that can happen to any team."
Mazzarri claimed victory over his fellow Italian coach but insisted the two teams adopt a very different style. "Leicester play similar to other English teams," he said. "We are the ones who have brought a different type of football to England."
Published Date: Nov 20, 2016 04:49 pm | Updated Date: Nov 20, 2016 04:49 pm