Albrighton ‘very angry and upset’ over player plot reports

Date published: Sunday 26th February 2017 6:39 - Joe Williams

Leicester winger Marc Albrighton has denied he had any part in Claudio Ranieri’s sacking and has been left “very angry and upset” over the speculation.

The 65-year-old Italian was dismissed on Thursday evening, just nine months after winning a shock Premier League title with the Foxes.

Reports have claimed Albrighton, captain Wes Morgan, Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel met with the club’s owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha following their 2-1 Champions League defeat in Seville on Wednesday, which led to Ranieri’s exit.

In a statement released to Press Association Sport, 27-year-old Albrighton said: “I rarely comment on press stories, however I am very angry and upset with The Times’ article and other speculation suggesting I was involved in any discussions or meetings regards the manager’s departure.

“This is totally incorrect. I had a good relationship with the manager and total respect for what he achieved for the club. I spoke with him after he left and thanked him personally for everything he did for me.

“At the worst time of my family’s life, the manager helped me achieve something I didn’t think in my wildest dreams would be possible. It helped us to be positive about something when everything was negative.

“The first day I met the manager he told me he believed in me; before the last game of his LCFC reign, he told me the same.

“I will never be truly able to thank him for everything he has helped me achieve and the faith he has shown in me and he knows that I always did my best for him.”

Vardy has said speculation he was involved in Ranieri’s dismissal is “untrue and extremely hurtful”, while Schmeichel insisted he has no issue with the Italian and any suggestions of a meeting were untrue and Morgan thanked his former manager.

Caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare also denied Ranieri lost the dressing room or that players had spoken against him to Srivaddhanaprabha.

“I am not aware of any senior players going to the owners. That is news to me. A lot of it has been speculation, no foundation,” he said.

Shakespeare is in charge for Monday’s visit of Liverpool after the Foxes slipped into the relegation zone on Saturday. They are yet to score in the league in 2017 and have lost their last five top-flight games.

Former Leicester manager and current Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has ruled himself out of the running for the job, telling BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme: “I wouldn’t be going. I’m enjoying the job here (with the Republic) at this moment and we have some big games ahead.”

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