New Season, Same Spirit For Ranieri
- The Foxes have impressed the City boss in training ahead of their first fixture of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign
- Hull City host Ranieri’s outfit at the KCOM Stadium (12.30pm kick-off)
Ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Premier League opener against Hull City, manager Claudio Ranieri says his side have retained the fighting spirit that served them so well last season.
Heading into the new campaign as England’s top flight champions for the first time, the Foxes face league new boys Hull City at the KCOM Stadium, as they get the 2016/17 Premier League season underway.
A thrilling pre-season campaign saw City take on some of the biggest club sides in the world, preparing them well as they aim to defend their Premier League crown.
And while Ranieri believes his side’s fitness levels are yet to hit their maximum, the players’ fighting spirit has certainly not faded.
“There’s no injuries – everybody is fit and ready,” Ranieri told the media ahead of Saturday’s clash.
“I think we have 60 per cent of our fitness, but I can see the same spirit and that is important for me. During the training session, the players showed a very good attitude. We are ready to play.
“At this moment, you can’t be at 100 per cent. It’s impossible. Maybe you’ll be at 100 per cent during the fifth or sixth game.”
Saturday’s opponents Hull will be buoyed by their fine pre-season form, having won five of their eight fixtures and losing just once in the process.
Their only pre-season defeat – a 2-1 loss to Serie A outfit Torino – saw the Tigers field a strong outfit, and Ranieri anticipates difficult challenge when they head to Hull to take on the 2015/16 Championship play-off winners.
The City boss added: “I think they don’t change so much from their last friendly match. I am waiting on a tough match. That is more important than anything else – a tough match.
“I’m very focused. I think it will be a difficult match because it’s the first match for them since they were promoted. They want to show their best but we are very concentrated and ready to play.”
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