Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri insists his champions have the drive to succeed and will not implode like Chelsea did under Jose Mourinho.
The Italian believes the Foxes - each of whom have been given a sleek €130,000 BMW i8 as a reward for their title-winning heroics - have strong foundations and will not change despite their shock Premier League title win.
They replaced Chelsea as champions after the Blues finished 10th last season having collapsed in spectacular style and sacked Mourinho in December - following a 2-1 defeat to Leicester.
Reports of a player revolt, a high-profile row with former club doctor Eva Carneiro and limp performances all contributed to Mourinho’s downfall at Stamford Bridge following their 2015 title win.
He was appointed Manchester United boss in May and Ranieri faces him tomorrow in the Community Shield and feels he and the Foxes will avoid the same fate as Mourinho in their Premier League defence.
“When I build something it is never destroyed. My philosophy is to watch your house, not other houses. It’s important what happens here. My house is very clean and very clear,” he said.
“Slowly we try to build the first floor and the second floor. The foundation is very solid. I don’t know what happened (to Chelsea). They were the champions. I spoke with my players and I said ‘I know you very well now and I want more. Forget what we achieved, I want more. You cannot tell me this is your maximum, I want more than the maximum from last season’.
“I am curious what we can do now. If someone needs more rest psychologically, stay with me on the bench and understand what happens on the pitch. One of my strengths is always to have the right balance. Never give up, I always believe in myself and if one man wants to do something in the end he will achieve something. I want to see them playing together as a team. Last season we made something which is hard to repeat but I want the maximum.”
Ranieri, preparing his side for tomorrow’s Community Shield showdown with FA Cup winners Manchester United at Wembley, isn’t getting a car from the owners.
“Some gifts are only for them? Not for me? I want to speak with my owner,” he smiled. “I am thinking about the match, not about the cars.”
Ahmed Musa, Papy Mendy and Luis Hernandez could all make their Leicester debuts in the Community Shield against Manchester United.
The trio joined the Premier League champions in the summer and could make their bows at Wembley along with fellow new faces Ron-Robert Zieler and Bartosz Kapustka.
Robert Huth can play despite currently serving a three-game ban for an altercation with Marouane Fellaini against United at the end of last season. The defender will serve the final match of his suspension in the Foxes’ league opener at Hull next week.
Ritchie de Laet and Gokhan Inler do not feature in boss Claudio Ranieri’s long-term plans and are unlikely to be part of the squad.
The Foxes begin their Premier League title defence against Hull next week.
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