Jamie Vardy urged to stay 'calm' by Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 05/11/16 12:51pm
Claudio Ranieri has urged Leicester forward Jamie Vardy to stay "calm" following his recent dry spell in front of goal.
This time last season Vardy was nine matches into his incredible record-breaking run of scoring in 11 successive Premier League games, but 12 months on, the England international has not found the net in 11 outings for the Foxes.
Vardy rejected the chance to join Arsenal in a £20m deal in the summer, instead signing a new four-year contract with the Premier League champions.
Ranieri has insisted he is not concerned about Vardy's current form and gave his backing to the 29-year-old ahead of the Super Sunday clash with West Bromwich Albion, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 4.15pm.
"Jamie is a goalscorer and all the goalscorers in the world have good periods and bad periods," the Leicester manager said.
"It's important for him to stay calm and, sooner or later, he will start to score again. He is still working hard for the team."
Leicester endured a shaky start to their title defence, conceding 11 goals in their opening six matches, but have responded by keeping four clean sheets in their last seven matches in all competitions.
Ranieri's men have played their best football in the Champions League this season and are on the brink of securing qualification to the last 16, having not conceded a goal or lost a game in the competition.
Leicester, who currently sit in 11th place in the Premier League, have not lost at the King Power Stadium in the league since September 2015 and Ranieri has urged his side to build on their new-found momentum.
"We are getting better," the Italian said. "But it's not only the defenders; all the team now is better, with the fighting spirit of the squad.
"We improve because it is not only the defenders, but everybody. It comes from the philosophy that when you lose the ball, you must get it back.
"Now we want to stop conceding goals. This is the base to improve your place in the table. Don't concede and sooner or later you score and can win.
"For us, it is important to keep going in this movement. We want to improve our table position, so this match against West Brom is a match that we must win or try to win."
The past three meetings between Leicester and West Brom have seen 14 goals scored, with last season's corresponding fixture finishing 2-2 after the Foxes triumphed 3-2 at The Hawthorns.
Ranieri is expecting another open encounter but would settle for a 1-0 win heading into the two-week international break.
"I expect the same match as last season - a very tough match," he said. "They defend and counter-attack very well. For me, Tony Pulis is a very good manager and we expect this kind of match. But maybe just one goal this time - for us."