Leicester City FC are doing things differently and defying the odds

Ian Payne

Former Sports Correspondent

Claudio Ranieiri shakes the hand of every journalist at press conferences. Credit: ITV News

They do things differently at Leicester City. For example the manager Claudio Ranieiri shakes the hand of every journalist at press conferences.

They get longer by the week.

Today he was presented with a plate of 'Ranieri sausages' by a local butcher. He wouldn't eat them because he said: "they are full of garlic" and "too smelly".

But he offered them to the assembled media "for my sharks", he said.

Jokes aside, Ranieri admitted today that these were the biggest six weeks coming up in the club's history.

A look at the statistics shows how unique Leicester's achievement has been.

They have just 42% possession. Which means they have the ball far less than any previous Premier League champion . They have the worst pass completion rate in the division - just 70%.

And Ranieri has only made 25 changes to his starting line up. Again, the fewest in the Premier League.

In 2009 Manchester United won the title after Sir Alex Ferguson made 140 changes.

Leicester's manager Claudio Ranieiri says the next six weeks are crucial. Credit: ITV News

At nearby Loughborough University sports scientists have been studying the players physiology. The team runs at a higher tempo for longer periods than any other.

And according to psychologist David Fletcher there's a mental side to their success. Because they've been rejected elsewhere.

He told me: "Players can respond in two ways to moving on from a bigger club. Some players, it really destroys their career. Their self belief and confidence suffers as a result.

"But it seems with these Leicester players that it's just spurred them on to greater things. It's almost as if they want to prove everyone wrong. They're the underdogs and they really want to overcome that".

Leicester are top of the Premier League and will play Southampton on Saturday. Credit: ITV News

And this week end's match at home to Southampton shows yet again how different Leicester City are.

It's the owner's birthday.

And he's laid on free beer (his own brand naturally) and doughnuts for every spectator.