Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is hoping Wednesday night’s FA Cup fourth-round win over Midlands rivals Derby can provide his beleaguered team with a much-needed confidence boost in their battle for Premier League survival.
The Foxes eventually outlasted Steve McClaren’s side to win 3-1 in injury time thanks to superb goals from Wilfred Ndidi and Demarai Gray.
Asked about the importance of the result, Ranieri said: “For me, no, it’s important for Leicester. When I speak I speak for Leicester. It’s a very important this victory, to go through the cup, and also to get confidence.
“You saw tonight was a difficult match. When we scored we started to play better, and when we score again we keep more of the ball very well.
“We need a little more support for ourselves. I want to say thank you to our fans because they support a lot.”
The win comes after the Italian received the dreaded show of support from the club this week as Leicester’s Thai owners released a statement declaring their “unwavering support” for Ranieri.
Fans also chanted his name repeatedly during the game, a fact Ranieri was pleased about.
“Yes that’s nice for me because that means we are strong together. I ask every time that they support, not for me but for the players because they fight on the pitch, and sometime fight too much without result. But always they give the maximum – that’s important.”
Asked about Saturday’s relegation clash with Swansea, Ranieri said it was extremely important to get the win.
“For us, [it is] the main match of the season, one of the main match because we have to do result.
“I hope this match can help us to improve our Premier League season. It’s important to keep going.”