Tuesday February 15 2011
Ranieri rubbishes Montella talk

Claudio Ranieri has rubbished reports that his job is on the line and that Vincenzo Montella is being groomed as his replacement albeit in a caretaker role.

This morning's La Repubblica claimed Wednesday's Champions League second round first leg is make or break for the Tinkerman after back-to-back defeats in Serie A.

"The Coach is like a husband," Ranieri said. "He is always the last to know about these things.

"It's only Roman gossip done out of love for the team. I expect a very beautiful game against Shakhtar. We will start again [after two defeats] against a great team.

"I know Mircea Lucescu well. It's a great pleasure to see him again. Shakhtar are a top team. Whoever said that it was a good draw for us must think again.

"Some time ago I asked the lads if something isn't working, if the problem is me and they said 'no'.

"We want to fight and do well and we'll fight until the end."