Jamie Vardy has revealed manager Claudio Ranieri stays up all night studying rivals and called Leicester’s season a “theme park ride”.
The England striker believes Ranieri has worked wonders taking the Foxes to the top of the Premier League.
Leicester host Norwich tomorrow with a two-point lead after a heartbreaking late 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in their last game. Ranieri replaced Nigel Pearson in the summer and Vardy — the league’s 19-goal top scorer — said the former Chelsea boss is the best he has worked with and rarely rests.
He said: “It’s a difficult one, obviously each manager I’ve played under have all got different attributes. Every one has been brilliant to me but you’d probably say yeah because of what he’s (Ranieri) done in coming in and the little tweaks he made to help us on the pitch.
“I think he examines every single aspect of every opposition we’re playing. He comes into our team meetings where he’s been up all night watching 50-60 clips of just one of the opposition’s players and he will tell you exactly what he’s done in 49 of them and what he did in the other 11.
“It’s mental how much detail he goes into but it’s a help to us and hopefully gives us an advantage.”
When asked to describe Leicester’s season in three words Vardy told Betfair: “Theme park ride.”
Ranieri gave the players last week off before they returned on Monday to prepare for the visit of the Canaries. They were given a programme to follow and had heart rate monitors to track their progress, and Ranieri has been pleased with the results.
He said: “I gave the players some programmes and they respected it and worked well. We had their GPS and when they came back the results were good. I trust them because they are very professional players.”
Ranieri returned to Italy during Leicester’s break and watched Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Roma in the Champions League, and admitted he rarely switches off.
“I bring my laptop with me. If I have a spare hour I watch — then spend time with my family — then another hour. I went to watch Roma and Real Madrid — I scouted Ronaldo, not a bad young player,” he joked. Daniel Amartey is likely to be included against Norwich as he prepares to make his debut following a January move from FC Copenhagen and Jeff Schlupp is back after a hamstring injury, but Danny Simpson is suspended.
Ranieri added: “I can put (Marcin) Wasilewski in again (at right back), I can put Amartey or (Marc) Albrighton maybe. I think Amartey is ready, he played against Man City’s U21s and played 90 minutes.”
Alex Neil’s Norwich City head to King Power Stadium looking for their first victory in eight games, having lost six of their last seven fixtures in all competitions.
Foxes boss Ranieri is taking nothing for granted, however. “I told my players that it will be a big battle,” he said.
“I want to see my players concentrated and angry because of the way we lost in the last minute (against Arsenal).
“We want to grow and stay at a high level. Now, we have to manage the pressure and have the confidence. It’s new for us. Now we are looking forward. The five matches next for us, I believe they can be key in our season.
“They’ll (Norwich) want to be close and go on the counter, but they have great players who can really play football. We must be focused.”
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