Can Leicester handle title pressure?

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"Now there are lots of Tinkermen. I was the first Tinkerman. I want to do a good job for the owners and be here for a long time," Ranieri said

By BBC

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Leicester City’s win at Manchester City – the most significant result so far in what is becoming a stunning story – means there is no hiding place for manager Claudio Ranieri’s side.

The Foxes’ richly-deserved 3-1 victory in the battle of the top two at Etihad Stadium put them five points clear at the top of the Premier League and installed them as title favourites with every bookmaker.

And it stripped away the last shield keeping Leicester under the radar, despite Ranieri’s masterpiece of expectation management this season.

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Can they handle the pressure?

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The manner in which Leicester came to Manchester and won so convincingly on their biggest test of the season was designed to make even the doubters believe.

It was an emphatic and mature performance that confirmed the tide of opinion is turning. Leicester are no longer viewed as plucky underdogs but as a club in position to make history.

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Leicester can no longer portray themselves as being on a fantasy ride with nothing to lose at the end – there should now be disappointment if they do not win the title.

So how will Leicester handle that potent mixture of pressure and expectation?

Former Norwich City striker Chris Sutton outlined the dangers of underdogs being thrust to the front and feeling the weight of expectation.

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He recalled how Norwich City let an unlikely title chance slip in the 1992-93 season when they were a point clear with only six games left.

Sutton told BBC Sport: “The longer you stay up there, and the closer you get to seeing it through, the harder it gets. We got through March and were back on the top of the table and it hit us. All of a sudden we started thinking about whether we could actually do it.

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