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Title defence just beginning to slip away from Leicester, Ranieri admits

Claudio Ranieri

Foxes face fight to retain their Premier League crown, Back of the Net report.

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The Premier League crown may be leaving the East Midlands this season, Claudio Ranieri has been forced to admit.

Defending champions Leicester are on the shoulders of the leading pack, but face a race against time if they are to overhaul Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester City, Arsenal and the other 12 teams currently ahead of them before the season ends.

Manager Ranieri acknowledged that his side may have left it too late to mount a title challenge, telling FourFourTwo: “We’d be right in the hunt if we’d turned a few draws into wins, and a few defeats into wins, and a few wins into super-wins worth an extra 10 points.

If we'd beat Chelsea, and won each of our next 16 games, we’d be in first place where we belong

“Losing to Chelsea in October was a turning point. If we’d won that game, and each of our next 16 games, we’d be in first place where we belong.

“With hindsight, failing to bring players like Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann when we had the chance was maybe the wrong decision.”

Swansea 2-0 Leicester

"I think that's it, lads"

Pick them off

Foxes players, too, are well aware that any slips from here to the end of the season may seem them miss out on a historic second league title.

Club captain Wes Morgan said: “We’re not going to give up on the league just yet, but we know it’s an uphill struggle to overhaul Middlesbrough, Bournemouth, Southampton, Burnley, and the other 12 teams who all seem to have hit form at just the right time.”

Morgan added that nobody at the club was worrying about the Champions League or the FA Cup, because they were as good as won already.

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