Ranieri admits Leicester can win the league as mind games with Pochettino heat up

The Italian has remained calm despite his sides surge to the summit of the Premier League

Claudio Ranieri has admitted for the first time this season that his Leicester City side can win the Premier League title, and the first top fight title, in the club's history.

During his press conference on Friday, the 64-year-old said, "We achieved the Champions League - a great achievement for everyone but now we try to win the title with all our strength, all our heart, our soul, everything.

"We need eight points and we are champions, and we try to do this. I said to my players that now is the right moment to push."

He also said he would prefer to be in Leicester's position than than of Pochettino's men, "I think Tottenham will win all their last four games, but I prefer to be in our position than theirs."

The Italian was forced out of his shell with a rare and subtle poke by Mauricio Pochettino as he attempts to step up the pressure on the Foxes. Pochettino said "I think that it's a big impact for Leicester because Vardy is one of the best players in the Premier League. Sure, it's a big impact for them."

Ranieri understands the importance of Vardy to his side but he hopes his other players, who give their maximum every game, will step up in an effort to cover for their suspended teammate.

Vardy was sent off and subsequently suspended for two games - against Swansea and Manchester United - for abusing official Jon Moss as he left the field.

Tottenham sit just five points behind Leicester in second place and will have to wait until Monday night before attempting to close the gap that could rise to eight points as Leicester face Swansea on Sunday afternoon.