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Schmeichel denies players met with Leicester board to get Ranieri sacked

Kasper Schmeichel has denied reports senior Leicester City players met with club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha prior to the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

Ranieri was dismissed on Thursday, just nine months after leading the Foxes to a remarkable Premier League title success and 24 hours after a battling 2-1 defeat at Sevilla in the Champions League.

There have been suggestions Srivaddhanaprabha spoke to players following the defeat in Spain, prompting the axe to fall on the likeable Italian, but Schmeichel has insisted no such meeting took place.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "[There is] absolutely no truth in that whatsoever. We are players and can only affect what happens on the pitch and we haven't done that.

"What happens above our heads at boardroom level is completely out of our control. All these reports about meetings, I don't know where they have come from."

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Schmeichel did admit, however, the club's Thai owners are a regular presence at Leicester's training ground, adding: "Our owners are very hands-on, they are in and around the club. They come to the training ground, they speak to all the players regularly, we speak to them about all manner of things, from the weather to the pitches to whatever.

"You have to remember these guys are very successful businessmen and have taken this club from the bottom of the Championship to the top.

"They won't let themselves be influenced by any players, or anything like that. We are footballers and we have a responsibility to perform on the pitch and we haven't lived up to that.

"That's the blame we take, anything else is completely out of our control."

Leicester's title defence has turned into a grim scrap against relegation - they started the weekend a point above the bottom three - and Schmeichel conceded the players are "hurting".

He added: "I can only say that we haven't performed on the pitch because that's a fact. We as a squad are hurting, the club is hurting. 

"We haven't lived up to the expectations this season and for us to sit here and have to defend all sorts of other accusations is uncomfortable, of course it is."