Leicester City Manager Claudio Ranieri is loving life at the top of the Premier League and is eager about what high-flying Leicester City can achieve although he still refuses to look beyond ensuring their survival this season.
The Foxes top the division and are just eight points short of the 40 that guarantee them top-flight football next season.
“Everybody knows us a little more. It’s good for the club, the city and the fans,” Ranieri told reporters at his pre-match news conference ahead of Monday’s visit of champions Chelsea.
“Let me achieve 40 points and then I can tell you what our goal is. It’s a good time to test our team at the moment.
“We want to test our team to see what they can do this season. That’s my goal.”
Defending champions Chelsea, fresh from their Champions League win against Porto on Wednesday and looking to bounce back from last weekend’s Premier League defeat by Bournemouth, will provide exactly the kind of test Ranieri is searching for.
A win against Jose Mourinho’s men, who sit 14th in the table and 17 points adrift of Leicester, would reinforce the Foxes’ title credentials ahead of a tough run of fixtures before the new year.
“Chelsea are Chelsea, Mourinho is Mourinho and I’m sure they will be near the top at the end of the season,” Ranieri said.
“I respect Chelsea a lot. I watched (the win over Porto in the Champions League) last night. They played very well and moved it quickly. They are the champions.”
The Foxes are away at Everton and Liverpool after Chelsea, before hosting Manchester City, and while Ranieri boasts the league’s deadliest strike force in Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, he is more focused on his team’s defence.
“For us clean sheets are very important. Sooner or later we will score, so if we maintain a clean sheet, we can win,” Ranieri said.
“It’s not important who scores, it’s important that the team scores and that the team plays well.”