Claudio Ranieri says he is happy to settle for points rather than plaudits after Leicester City maintained their remarkable title challenge with an ugly 1-0 win over lowly Norwich City on Saturday.
Ranieri’s side moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to Leonardo Ulloa’s 89th-minute strike at the King Power Stadium.
Although Leicester were well below their best in a nervous display, the victory kept the Foxes firmly on course to become arguably the most unlikely champions in English football history.
Second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who host Swansea City on Sunday, and third-placed Arsenal, who travel to Manchester United on Sunday, are now under pressure to win to keep pace with the leaders.
And Leicester boss Ranieri insisted he is willing to sacrifice praise from the pundits for the more tangible reward of putting points on the board.
“You cannot always play well, it’s not important to play well or not, it’s important to take points,” Ranieri said.
“We believe in ourselves, we believe until the end that it’s important to fight. We lost a match in the last second against Arsenal and today we won in the last minute. That’s football.
“We expected a battle. I want to say well done to Norwich because it was a good battle.
“The first half we tried to find a solution but it was difficult because Norwich played to maintain the clean sheet.
“With 20 minutes to go it was an open match; we can score, they can score. I tried to make some changes to spread out the defensive line. It was a good choice.”