Everton manager Roberto Martinez had a lot of good things to say about his counterpart at Leicester City Claudio Ranieri ahead of Saturday’s fixture.
Martinez said in his pregame press conference that Ranieri deserves more credit for the job he has done with the Foxes.
“Remember Leicester were effectively relegated a year ago,” Martínez told the Guardian. “The mentality in the dressing room in the Premier League is the hardest thing to work on. You saw that with Sunderland, I had it with Wigan. You get through a relegation battle and then you start afresh. Then you get a defeat, a bad moment and it is very hard to keep that feeling of positivity.
“What Leicester have achieved from being ‘relegated’ before Christmas to avoiding relegation in May to being top of the league in December is incredible. Ranieri is someone who gives a very calm message all the time and has faith in what he believes in. The team are playing like that. Forget how they play tactically – it is just the mentality of that group. Ranieri deserves incredible credit for that and, 100 percent, has not been given the credit he deserves.”
Ranieri took over Leicester in the summer after the club had escaped relegation the previous season under manager Nigel Pearson after being the in relegation zone for 21 out of 38 games. The team finished the season strong, winning seven of the last nine games.
Under Ranieri, the team has soared and currently sits at the top of the Premier League standings with 35 points after 16 games.