Kasper Schmeichel gives first interview after Claudio Ranieri is sacked

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Kasper Schmeichel was the first Leicester player to react to the sacking of Claudio Ranieri on social media yesterday.

He wrote: "I would like to thank Claudio for everything he's done for Leicester City Football Club, and for me personally. He deserves massive respect and huge credit for what he achieved here with us."

Despite those kind words, Schmeichel has actually seen by some as one of the main instigators behind the removal of the Italian.

With Leicester perilously close to the relegation zone, the hierarchy at KP Stadium controversially decided to sack the man who guided them to the Premier League title last May.

A report in The Times on Saturday claimed Schmeichel was among four senior players the chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabna held a meeting with just before Ranieri lost his job.

To his credit, the Foxes' shot-stopper is also the first player to talk to the media and was interviewed by Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves to try and clear up the situation.

And while he did express some sympathy for his outgoing boss, Schmeichel looked extremely uncomfortable when asked about his role in the reported meetings - see the full interview in the video below.

"They are very hurtful reports. I can only say as a player at this club I, or any other player, has no influence on any decision like this or any say of any kind," Schmeichel said.

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"Our owners are very, very successful businessmen who have made decisions in their business lives many, many times and made big decisions for the club previously.

"They make the decisions, we have no influence. We don't kid ourselves that we influence or make anything happen at all."

That response wasn't enough for Sheeves, though, and he continued to press the 30-year-old for a definitive answer. Skip to 2:42 to see Schmeichel try to wriggle out of it.

He added: "For me, to read these type of things, it is absolutely ridiculous to think any player in any squad across the country has that type of influence or power to make decisions like this. It is absolutely ridiculous."

It makes for compelling viewing to see just how much he squirms to answer the question, without actually answering the question.

Fair play to Shreeves who didn't let up at all.

Ranieri said his final goodbyes to the players and other staff members at Leicester's training ground on Saturday.

And Schmeichel paid another tribute to his now former manager.

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"I have nothing but the utmost respect and gratitude for Claudio for what he did at this club," he continued.

"It is the highlight of everybody's career and if you ask any player, they will say the exact same thing.

"What is a great shame is that we have not performed on the pitch. It is as simple as that. We as players have to look at ourselves because we haven't performed."

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