Claudio Ranieri believes that “Everything is wrong” with Leicester City’s Premier League title defense, and they have now fell into a relegation scrap after losing to Sunderland on Saturday.
The Foxes are now 15th in the table, just two points above the relegation zone following a 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of the Light.
With 13 points after 14 games, theirs are the worst record of any defending Premier League champions.
“It’s difficult. We miss everything,” Ranieri said after the match. “Everything last season was right, starting with luck; this season, everything is wrong. But we must continue to work hard and maintain the right balance in ourselves, believe in ourselves. The battle is long, but that’s football, sport.”
Leicester City have not found a lead away from home all season and fell behind midway through the second half against Sunderland, when Robert Huth diverted a corner into his own net. Jermain Defoe then added a second for the hosts, and although Shinji Okazaki pulled one back for the Foxes, they could not find an equaliser.
“We wanted to get points here but of course it was a relegation battle. They won, well done to them,” Ranieri added. “I said two, three weeks ago, always I look behind me. We are in the battle of relegation. For this reason we must stay calm, together and continue to work hard.”
Ranieri was also staunch in his defense of Jamie Vardy, whose poor form in front of goal continued as the England striker failed to score for a 16th successive game in all competitions for Leicester.
“Look, for me, he works well, hard,” Ranieri said. “Of course the goals are important, but I believe in him and sooner or later, he will start to score goals.”