Ranieri refuses to blame Leicester players

Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri refuses to believe that his players went behind back and asked the club's board to dismiss him.

The Italian mentor, who led the Foxes to a fairytale Premier League triumph last season, was axed in February with the club struggling close to the relegation zone.

There had been rumours of dressing room unrest and that some players went to the owners to demand that the 65-year-old be fired.

But when asked about reports that former players betrayed him on Monday Night Football with Jamie Carragher, Ranieri replied: “No, I can’t believe it.

“The players maybe don’t give their maximum because there are other problems.

“Other problems could be that when they were here before they earned a little less, and after that they earned double or triple.

“Maybe when you were safe in the last match and restart the season, you are so concentrated to be solid and strong. We started very well the year before.

“Then when you come back in pre-season when you have won the title, you go around the world. You go to America to play against big teams for the first time in your life. The situation is totally different.

“I cannot believe that my players killed me. No, no, no.”

But while he would not blame the players, Ranieri indicated there were others at the club who were against him – though he did not name names.

“I listened to a lot of stories about this,” he added.

“Maybe it could be somebody behind me, but also the little problem I had the year before and we won the title.

“Maybe these people, this year, when we lose they push a little more. That’s it.

“I don’t want to tell. I am a serious man, a loyal man. What I have to say, I say face-to-face.”