(Reuters) - Leicester City said on Tuesday that Claudio Ranieri would be given the opportunity to turn things around at the relegation-threatened Premier League champions.
Ranieri has come under pressure since Leicester’s stunning title triumph last season, with the club battling relegation near the foot of the league table, a point above the bottom three after 24 games.
“Leicester City Football Club would like to make absolutely clear its unwavering support for its First Team Manager, Claudio Ranieri,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ranieri has played down recent media reports suggesting he has lost control over his dressing room.
“While there is a collective appreciation from everyone at the club that recent form needs to improve, the entire club is and will remain united behind its manager and behind its players, collectively and firmly focused on the challenges ahead,” Leicester said.
Ranieri said he hoped the statement would end speculation about his future with Leicester.
“I think (the statement) is for the media. I know the views of the chairman. Maybe he wanted to stop all the speculation. I didn’t ask them to do this -- I knew what the chairman was thinking,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Leicester, who are on a four-game losing run in the league and have won just twice in their last 15 top-flight games, host second-tier side Derby County in the FA Cup on Wednesday before a trip to face relegation rivals Swansea City four days later.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith