Ranieri pleased with winning start

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Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri saw his side beat West Ham 2-1 on Saturday to go top of the Premier League and admitted their hard work is paying dividends.

Ranieri took over the reins at the King Power Stadium during the off-season following the sacking of Nigel Pearson, and has guided the team to two wins from two games in the new campaign.

The 4-2 home triumph over Sunderland on the opening day was followed by a success on the road at Upton Park, where first-half goals from Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez set the Foxes up for victory, although Dimitri Payet halved the deficit early in the second half.

Ranieri praised the work-rate of his players against the Hammers, as well as their preparations beforehand, which has helped take the Midlands outfit to the league summit, tied on six points with Manchester United in second place.

"I think it was a fantastic first half. We played fast and very well together," the Italian told Foxes Player. "The second half was normal and with West Ham at home they wanted to [come back and] draw the match.

"They pushed us a lot but we were very well organised, closed the space and conceded just a few chances to them. One was a goal and another Kasper [Schmeichel] made a fantastic save from.

"I want to say that my players were very concentrated on this match after the good result at home. I told them that this is West Ham's first match at home after winning at Arsenal and they'll want to show their best performance [at home]. We prepared well and that was important for us.

"In the first half we fought a lot. I love when the players give everything, that makes me very happy. Of course when you get the result it's much better but when you give everything, you can have everything.

"I'm very pleased and in the dressing room I've said how pleased I am with all my players, not just those who start and who come off the bench, but all the players because they have worked hard all week."

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