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Saturday 10 December 2016

Jamie Vardy aiming to kick on for Leicester after ending goal drought

Published 17/11/2016 | 14:16

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy won a penalty and scored in England's 2-2 draw with Spain
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy won a penalty and scored in England's 2-2 draw with Spain

Jamie Vardy has targeted a scoring streak after ending his goal drought - and Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri predicts the England strike will give his player a new lease of life.

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The 29-year-old ended a 14-game goalless run when he netted in England's 2-2 draw with Spain on Tuesday.

Vardy had failed to score since September 10 after notching 24 times last season to help the Foxes win a shock Premier League title.

He has bagged five goals in 14 England appearances and, ahead of Leicester's trip to Watford on Saturday, is now looking to help fire the Foxes in the league.

Vardy said: "I think it's been needed and hopefully I can kick on from there now and start banging them in. It's just always good to get that goal. That one is in the back of the net now and hopefully I can kick on and start putting more away.

"I just think a lot of the chances I was getting last year have not been there this year.

"It's just all about working hard and eventually they'll come. I think it always happens when you're a striker. You do go through spells without scoring but eventually it will come back and you'll be banging them in again.

"At the end of the day the team comes first and it's about how you're working hard for the team - the bonuses come after, which is obviously the goals. I'm always ready."

Vardy's drought has coincided with the defending champions struggling in the Premier League and they are just two points above the relegation zone.

Ranieri dropped him twice to try to kick-start his season but now Vardy, who has three goals for the Foxes this term, has scored again, the Italian believes he will be refreshed.

"Finally he breaks the ice," the Foxes boss said. "It's important. It was important for him and everyone. He never spoke about this but I know goalscorers always want to score. Now I think it will be a new Vardy.

"I managed a lot of goalscorers. It's not possible for them to score every time. Sometimes they have a little stop and then restart. I tried to help him and take him out."

Vardy insisted he was happy with Ranieri's squad rotation as the Foxes tried to balance the Premier League title defence with their Champions League campaign.

He added: "The gaffer spoke to us, the strikers. The way we play, we can't get all of us on the pitch and that's just football. That's how it is. If I'm on the bench then it's up to me to make an impact if I come on."

Vardy is fit to face Watford but midfielder Danny Drinkwater pulled out of the England squad with a rib problem and will be assessed while goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel remains out with a fractured hand.

Winger Demarai Gray is battling a calf injury after missing England Under-21s' 3-2 defeat in France on Monday, and midfielder Nampalys Mendy is struggling with an ankle injury which has kept him out since August.

Press Association

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