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Bring on Chelsea

Ranieri wants Leicester to build on win over Everton as they host league leaders this weekend

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has stressed the importance of his men building on their FA Cup win over Everton when they face Chelsea this weekend.

The 2-1 third-round triumph at Goodison Park yesterday morning (Singapore time) was a first domestic away victory of the season for the Foxes.

That followed a win against West Ham and a draw at Middlesbrough in the Premier League, in which Ranieri's reigning champions are currently lying in 15th place.

The Italian is pleased with his side's recent efforts, but has emphasised he will see them as having "good momentum" only if they can add a positive result from the home clash with the league leaders this Sunday morning.


When asked after the Everton game how important the win had been, ex-Chelsea boss Ranieri said: "Look, it is important if we get a result now against Chelsea. Then there is a good momentum."

Leicester came from behind to claim the victory at Everton, substitute Ahmed Musa swiftly responding with a quickfire brace following Romelu Lukaku's opener for the hosts just after the hour mark.

Ranieri added: "It was a good match. Of course, at the beginning Everton pushed a lot and wanted to score a goal.

"But I was very pleased with our performance, before and after the (Everton) goal.

"When we conceded, we wanted an immediate reaction, we put them under pressure and scored two good goals."

Ranieri was full of praise for forward Musa, the summer signing from CSKA Moscow who doubled his goal tally for Leicester with a bundled finish after the ball had hit the post from a slotted strike teed up by Danny Drinkwater.

And the manager was also keen to give credit to his latest recruit, Musa's fellow Nigeria international Wilfred Ndidi.

Midfielder Ndidi made his Foxes debut in the cup tie after joining from Genk last week.

Ranieri said: "He had just two training sessions with us and he played with fantastic personality. He recovered a lot of balls, was good in the air, played well.

"For the first time, at 20 years old, at Everton? Unbelievable."

Meanwhile, Everton manager Ronald Koeman has urged the club's board to recognise the extent of his rebuilding job by backing him in the transfer market.

"I know what we need to change and, if everyone opens their eyes, maybe we will get further on our improvement as a team," Koeman said.

"Because that's really what we need and that's all about what happens this month."

Everton have been linked with Manchester United duo Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin, and Koeman, who will be without injured winger Yannick Bolasie for up to a year, has made it clear to his employers where the team need to strengthen.

"I have that in mind and the board knows because we spoke together about what we need. That's the job of (director of football) Steve Walsh and it's my job," the Dutchman added when asked about signing new players in the January window.

"I hope everybody realises what the team need to get results that meet the expectations at this club.

"I can explain more, but I don't like to because that's talks we need to do inside."

Everton, who are seventh in the Premier League after 20 games, host fourth-placed Manchester City this Sunday. - WIRE SERVICES

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