Manager Presser

Friday 18 January 2019 15:05

Claudio Ranieri discussed the threat posed by a Tottenham Hotspur side without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min for Sunday’s London derby.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side go into the match on the back of a 1-0 defeat by Manchester United, a game where they failed to convert despite having multiple efforts on goal.

“There isn’t Son or Harry Kane, but Tottenham have other champions, and can change their system to play how Pochettino wants,” said Ranieri in Friday's press conference.

“It’ll be a tough match, but we are ready. I hope, sooner or later, our luck will turn. I’ve prepared the team to improve our mistakes and play our football.

“Of course, against Spurs, we have to be very awake because every situation is a dangerous situation, but we’re also dangerous on the counter attack.

“We’re very concentrated on doing our job. A win will give us a boost to do something good, but one bird doesn’t make a summer.

“We need to continue to fight because luck hasn’t arrived here yet. We have to fight, be ambitious and try to do our best.

“I don’t blame my defenders. We’ve made mistakes, I’ve showed them where they’ve made mistakes and we try to improve during training every day. We repeat the movement, the diagonal, and I showed them how the opponent’s play.

“We have a very good group. This group was promoted from the Championship. Now, they have to adapt for the Premier League. A lot of them didn’t play in the Premier League, and it’s totally different.

“For this reason, they need a little more time, but they are very good players. Last season, they played a lot with the ball, kept possession, and when the time arrived [Aleksandar] Mitrović finished the job.

“Now, we have to think about defence because there are teams better than us.

“We have two think in two ways; when you have the ball and when you lose the ball. We have to improve a lot when we lose the ball.

“We have to fight until the end. Never, ever, give up – that’s my philosophy.”

The Whites strengthened their squad with the addition of Ryan Babel earlier in the week, and the forward could play a part this weekend.

“I hope Ryan can bring his experience, his strength, quality and score some goals,” explained Ranieri.

“Of course, I hope can adapt to our football as soon as possible. I’m happy because he’s played for Liverpool and knows the Premier League very well.

“He’s not 100% fit, and I will have to choose whether to start with him or bring him on during the match. It’s important that my players play how I want during the match.”

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