Riyad Mahrez insists he and his Leicester team-mates did not letClaudio Ranieri down during his ill-fated final season at the club.
The Foxes parted company with the man who masterminded the only title-winning campaign in the club’s 133-year history just nine months into the defence.
A nine-game winless streak in all competitions in the run up to Ranieri’s dismissal led to accusations that the Leicester players had downed tools under the Italian.
“The players and the club know we didn’t let Ranieri down so whoever wants to speak can speak,” Mahrez told Sky Sports.
“The criticism doesn’t affect us. People speak because it is their job, they have to criticise. We are here to play and to win games.”
“Criticism is good for the team, it keeps us strong and then we can fight with more power.
“We didn’t for six, seven months, now we have started. But that doesn’t mean everything is good, we’ve only won three games. We need to keep going because it’s not finished.”