Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez has issued an impassioned rallying call ahead of tonight’s clash with Liverpool, urging his team-mates to “stay together” and “keep fighting”.
With just 21 points to their name, the Foxes’ have endured an astonishing fall from grace following the highs of their title-winning season last year.
In light of the club’s alarming slump in form, Ranieri was sacked on Thursday night and the Premier League champions now head into Monday’s game without a manager.
But Mahrez believes his team have the quality to arrest their run of bad results and haul themselves out of this season’s fight for survival.
Speaking in the wake of last week’s Champions League defeat by Sevilla, the PFA player of the year said: “I think we are a team of confidence. If we win games we score, everything goes fine but that is not happening this season.
“We keep losing and losing. We are part of a team so if it is difficult for us, it is difficult for everyone.
“We just have to stay together and keep fighting because we know we have the quality to do better. We know it is a bad moment but we have the quality to stay in the Premier League.
“We have a very good squad of players and we know we can do it. It is OK.”
Mahrez insists that Leicester’s fightback against Sevilla, which saw them snatch a vital away goal to keep their Champions League hopes alive, bodes well for the club and can help inspire them to deliver on the domestic stage.
He added: “We have two games at home now in one week. There is 13 games to go and we just have to win games, that is it.
“I think with the type of second half performance like Sevilla we can do it.
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“I think I am quite happy about the second half we played, there are good things for Liverpool.
“First half we were a bit timid, shy but we played good in the second half.
“We had some counter-attacks and if we made good choices, we could do better things.
“We need to make the right choice in the right moment.”
Assistant coach Craig Shakespeare has taken over first-team responsibilities after Ranieri’s sacking and will manage the side for tonight’s clash with Liverpool.
The search for the Italian’s replacement continues with a number of big names being linked to the club, including Roberto Mancini, Guus Hiddinck and former coach Martin O’Neill.