‘LE­ICES­TER HAVE NOTH­ING TO FEAR’

The new cham­pi­ons should keep faith in their style of play

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Star­ling @mike­js­tar­ling mike@7days.ae

Through­out Le­ices­ter City’s mem­o­rable Pre­mier League ti­tle-win­ning cam­paign one motto has been used more than most: “We are fear­less.”

Clau­dio Ranieri’s fly­ing Foxes have not feared any­body this sea­son - and why should they when pos­sess­ing the tal­ent of at­tack­ers Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez as well as a back­line that in­cludes goal­keeper Kasper Sch­me­ichel and de­fend­ers Wes Mor­gan and Robert Huth.

If any­thing it’s the op­po­si­tion that have feared tak­ing on the Foxes. And that won’t change this Satur­day evening when the he­roes come home to face Ever­ton. In fact if I was Ever­ton man­ager Roberto Martinez I would not just be fear­ing for my job, I would be fear­ing for the long-term morale of my team. Just ask Vardy who will re­turn from sus­pen­sion. Be­cause the Foxes won’t just want an­other party in front of their barmy army - they will want to sign off their home fix­tures in style. That means goals, lots of them. The next weeks and months will be one long cel­e­bra­tion for the boys in blue, but come pre-sea­son and the open­ing of the trans­fer win­dow Ranieri will have some se­ri­ous work to do. While I don’t see any of the main play­ers leav­ing Le­ices­ter be­cause of their Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion, the big­gest task for Ranieri will be on how to im­prove his squad with­out dent­ing the un­be­liev­able team spirit and style of play.

This team have won hearts - and lots of games - with their at­ti­tude and fear­less brand of at­tack­ing foot­ball, so it should be added to, not di­min­ished.

But with Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball comes riches - it’s the Holy Grail for all clubs in Europe. While Ranieri will get cash to spend, I hope - and be­lieve - that he will be care­ful and not just buy big­wage prima-don­nas. It’s not been his style, cer­tainly at Le­ices­ter.

Let’s hope he keeps faith with his stars be­cause wouldn’t it be great to see Europe’s top clubs travel to the King Power sta­dium for a Cham­pi­ons League fix­ture?

Le­ices­ter’s cur­rent crop of play­ers de­serve the chance to take on Europe’s best. Be­cause there’s no doubt about it, none of the big boys will fancy a trip to a packed and bois­ter­ous King Power.

The Cham­pi­ons League is a jour­ney into the un­known for Le­ices­ter City, but the mes­sage must be to keep be­ing fear­less and don’t change your ways. Just look how far it’s got you.

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