Claudio Ranieri has finally admitted winning the Premier League is Leicester City’s target this season – after months of playing down their title ambitions.
Leicester go into the weekend five points ahead of nearest challengers Tottenham, who do not play until Monday, with just four games to go.
The Foxes host Swansea City on Sunday and another victory would take them a step closer to the most remarkable success in Premier League history.
For much of the season, Ranieri spoke only of Leicester’s desire to reach 40 points – the recognised amount to stave off the threat of relegation.
Once achieved, he demanded his players match that figure over the second half of the season but refused to say whether winning the title was an aspiration.
But now that Leicester’s entry into next season’s Champions League has been confirmed, Ranieri says now is the time to admit their target is to win the league.
“We’re in the Champions League, it’s fantastic. Well done to everybody. Fans, staff and players,” an exuberant Ranieri told a news conference on Friday.
“We are in the Champions League man! Dilly ding, dilly dong!
“It’s a great achievement and now we try to win the title. Only this remains.
“I have spoken to the players, now is the right moment to push. I believe. I am a positive man. If we win the title it will be unbelievable.
“If Spurs go above us then congratulations but I prefer to be five points ahead.”
On paper, a home fixture with Swansea appears an excellent chance to pile the pressure on Spurs ahead of their game with West Brom but Ranieri refused to underestimate the Welsh side.
“When you want to win the title it’s important to win but Swansea will be a difficult match. It will be a battle,” he added.
“Swansea close very well and press very well but we want to win the Premier League so we will have to fight.
“On Sunday, everyone will give a little more for each other to try to win the game.”
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