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Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Ranieri nets manager award
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri has been named as the Premiership's manager of the month for March.

The Italian led Chelsea to three league wins during the month over Bolton, Fulham and Wolves and they reached the Champions League quarter-finals.

Birmingham striker Mikael Forssell - on loan from Chelsea - bagged the player of the month award to continue his successful spell at St Andrews.

The Finnish hitman netted six goals in just five games for Steve Bruce's side.

Nic Gault, a member of the Barclaycard Awards Panel, admitted Ranieri has done a terrific job in difficult circumstances at Stamford Bridge this season.

"Loved by the fans, and respected by his players, Claudio Ranieri has done a fantastic job at Chelsea under the media spotlight," said Gault.

"He has always focused on what matters most, the football, and appears to be relishing the challenge before him.

"Ranieri has got Chelsea playing some great football and continues to pick up the points, what's more he does it with a smile on his face.

"He is a very worthy recipient."

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