Sunday 11 December 2016

Jamie Vardy: I'm injury-free and Leicester are getting stronger

Published 03/02/2016 | 13:16

Jamie Vardy netted a stunning opener to help Leicester beat Liverpool 2-0
Jamie Vardy netted a stunning opener to help Leicester beat Liverpool 2-0

Jamie Vardy insists he is injury-free and ready to keep Leicester's title charge on track.

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The striker netted twice - including a goal-of-the-season contender 30-yard volley - in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Liverpool, which kept the Foxes top of the Barclays Premier League.

Vardy, who is talking to the club about a contract extension until 2019, had a seven-game goalless streak after undergoing a groin operation last month, but believes he is now back to full fitness.

"I've got no problems and, as each game comes, we're going to get better and stronger and hopefully I'll get the season out with no more niggles," he said, ahead of Leicester's crucial trip to second-placed Manchester City on Saturday.

Boss Claudio Ranieri added: "Now it is one month since he (Vardy) restarted training (after his operation). Before he didn't train well and played without training. It is not easy. He continued to score but slowly he started to go down."

Vardy now has 18 goals this season following his brace, which came in front of England boss Roy Hodgson, and ranks his opener - when he ran onto Riyad Mahrez's long pass to beat Simon Mignolet with a stunning volley - as his best for the Foxes.

"It's probably my best, no shadow of a doubt. I just hope there's more of them to come," he told the club's official site.

"When I've been put through, I'm wide but haven't got any support. I've hit it hoping he (Mignolet) is off his line a bit. Luckily he was and it's nestled into the top corner."

Mignolet had kept Liverpool level with a fine first-half stop from Shinji Okazaki, but admitted they failed to test Leicester.

"We didn't create enough chances to score a goal and when you play this Leicester side away from home you have to make chances to put them under pressure," he said.

"We didn't manage to do that but everybody tried their best."

The goalkeeper also called on his team-mates to recover ahead of the visit of Sunderland on Saturday.

He told Liverpool's official site: "You can't really change anything, so the only thing you have to do is learn from the mistakes and take the positives.

"When we play at home against Sunderland, we have to take the three points."

Mignolet was left with no chance by Vardy who has spearheaded Leicester's title charge. He has three goals in his last two outings after ending a seven-game goalless streak.

And team-mate Marc Albrighton backed the England international to continue scoring.

He said: "There is no evidence to say he won't keep going. He is confident at the minute, that is proved in the way he took the shot on. A player low on confidence is not even attempting to hit that. That's only good for the team.

"To be in the stadium and witness that is something special. It'll probably go down as one of the Premier League's all-time great goals. It will be on Christmas DVDs in the future, I wouldn't be surprised. When he came in the dressing room everyone gave him a round of applause, 'well done, you won us the game. Cheers'."

But Albrighton refused to get carried away, despite the fact the Foxes could be six points clear of Manchester City if they win at the Etihad on Saturday.

He added: "It's fantastic but we need to win there, don't we? It's going to be another difficult game.

"If we can just keep this mentality going each game - confident and looking forward and enjoying (ourselves) - we should be fine."

Press Association

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