"If the clans are formed by those players who are the first to arrive at training and the last to leave, then I'm the head of the clan," Ranieri rebutted in an interview given to 'Mediaset', which was reported on the club's official website
Labeling Dutch mastro Wesley Sneijder as Inter's "prize jewel", Ranieri reaffirmed his desire to see the elegant playmaker stay with the club, despite reported renewed interest from Manchester United.
"Sneijder is our prize jewel. He has to give 120%. He mustn't just be part of the squad; he has to be our leader, the one who takes us by the hand and shows us the way to great things," he explained.
The former Chelsea and AS Roma tactician also hinted that his tough mental strength and character has endeared him to the Nerazzuri faithful.
"If you ask me why the Inter fans have taken to me so quickly, all I can think of is that they must like my attitude to hard work:
I've got my head down and focused on sorting Inter out," the affable Italian elaborated.
"I have a strong character, I say what I think and with age my defects have worsened... I joined Inter at a difficult time when the team were up to their necks but I also saw determination and a sense of belonging."
"It annoyed me when I heard people saying these players were old and wise, and I remained calm even when we lost because I could see how they worked."
Ranieri also revealed that former Inter coach Jose Mourinho has been in touch with him, offering encouragement and moral support.
"We've texted each other a few times," he said.
"When things weren't going well he told me the team would come through it. I've said to my players that we're well off the pace at the moment but I always aim to achieve the maximum. If you're not ambitious, you'll never reach the top or even get near to it."
Ranieri also gave an insight into the Milan derby and insisted that neither Inter nor AC Milan will enter the clash as superior outfits.
"I don't think there are any favourites in the derby. It's a level playing field. You just have to prepare for it properly and give your best on the pitch," Ranieri remarked.
Having been drafted in as Inter boss, Ranieri also spoke about his relationship with club president and patron Massimo Moratti.
"I met him during the team's toughest moment, yet he seemed calm and motivated. But I've only known him for 100 days; it's been intense but it's still early," he added.
Inter are currently lying in fifth spot in the Sere A standings, eight points behind joint leaders AC Milan and Juventus.