Under-fire Valencia boss Claudio Ranieri has hit back at critics calling for his head following a run of three succesive defeats.

Valencia, who began the defence of their title in impressive fashion well, have endured a slump in form, prompting certain observers to question Ranieri’s position.

“You are trying to kill me,” Ranieri said.

“I have had many messages of support and when that happens, it is because the press is criticising you.

“You try to stab me in the back, but it does not affect me. Idiots! I came here with enthusiasm and I have the strength to come through this.”