Claudio Ranieri claims one of his players is a fantastic horse

Jamie Vardy

The Leicester City manager has hailed the work-rate of England striker Jamie Vardy and admits he asks his star player to track back to help the team.

Jamie Vardy is not a footballer but a “fantastic horse”, according to his Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri in an interesting declaration in The Players’ Tribune.

England international Vardy, with 19 goals to his name this term, has been one of the stand-out performers in a sensational season for Leicester, with Ranieri transforming the team’s on-pitch fortunes.

Rock bottom of the table at this stage of the Premier League campaign 12 months previous, the Foxes mounted an astonishing - and successful - fight for survival with head coach Nigel Pearson steering the club to safety.

However, following the arrival of the experienced Italian at the King Power Stadium, Leicester have embarked upon an extraordinary run of form which sees them top the standings by seven points with just six games remaining.

Ranieri has now revealed he gives the 29-year-old attacker freedom to roam during matches and is clearly delighted with the results.

"Jamie Vardy, for example. This is not a footballer. This is a fantastic horse," he said on US website The Players' Tribune.

"He has a need to be free out there on the pitch.

"I say to him, 'You are free to move however you want, but you must help us when we lose the ball. That's all I ask of you. If you start to press the opposition, all of your team-mates will follow you'."

The early season form of Vardy set the tone for the year, as he set a league record for scoring in 11 consecutive matches. The former non-league striker has been rewarded for his goals with his first international caps following his rise to promise.

 

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