Schmeichel denies players rallied against Ranieri

Date published: Saturday 25th February 2017 4:30

Kasper Schmeichel has denied there was any player plot against Claudio Ranieri and insisted he has nothing but respect for the Italian.

Ranieri was sacked as Leicester manager on Thursday only nine months after guiding the Foxes to a remarkable Premier League triumph.

Reports quickly emerged claiming Leicester players had influenced the club’s owners, but Schmeichel insisted that was not true.

He told the BBC: “There’s absolutely no truth in that whatsoever. We are players and we can only affect (things) on the pitch. What happens above our heads at boardroom level is completely out of our control.

“All these reports about meetings, I don’t know where they’ve come from. What I can say is our owners are very hands on, they are in and around the club all the time.

“They come to practically every game, they come to the training ground and they speak to all the players regularly. We talk to them about all manner of things from the weather to the pitches to whatever.

“These guys are very successful businessmen and have taken this club from the bottom of the Championship to the top. They’re not going to let themselves be influenced by any players.”

Ranieri visited Leicester’s training ground on Saturday morning to say goodbye to his former players and staff.

“I don’t speak with anybody, just to say thank you to the fans. They are fantastic. Thank you,” he said when asked for a quick word by Sky Sports News as he drove away.

On how he was feeling, he said: “I feel good now, because what we achieved in Leicester… I hope it will happen again, but it will be very difficult.”

When asked if it had been an emotional meeting with his players, he insisted it had been “normal”.

Schmeichel said: “Claudio leaving is obviously very, very sad. We achieved the impossible together and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him for everything he achieved at this club. I have no problem with Claudio whatsoever.

“As everyone knows, he’s a classy guy. He came in and said his piece to the players, thanked us for our efforts and for last season and said goodbye. It’s a shame it’s come to this.

“You could hear that it hurt him and it hurts the players that we haven’t performed well enough to make this carry on. We’re in the position we’re in because we haven’t been good enough, it’s as simple as that.”

Playmaker Riyad Mahrez, whose performances last season played such a major part in Leicester’s triumph, took to Twitter to thank Ranieri.

He posted a picture of him with the Italian and wrote: “Big respect to this great man who helped us achieve history, you helped me build myself as a player and gave me the courage I needed.

“You believed in me from day one. Huge thank you for everything and good luck. God bless.”

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