Leicester approach "not rocket science", says Danny Drinkwater
Published 22/11/2015 | 13:46
Leicester's ascent to the top of the Barclays Premier League table is the season's most surprising tale, but midfielder Danny Drinkwater insists there is no magic formula behind their success.
The Foxes demolished Newcastle 3-0 at St James' Park to reach the summit on a day when their in-form striker Jamie Vardy equalled Ruud van Nistelrooy's Premier League scoring record by finding the net for a 10th successive game.
The victory extended the club's unbeaten run on the road to 10 league games, a streak that includes the managerial stints of both Nigel Pearson and his successor Claudio Ranieri, and they took advantage of Manchester City and Arsenal's slip-ups to move into pole position in the division.
The fact Leicester are ahead of the chasing pack after 13 games is one few could have predicted, yet Drinkwater believes there is nothing revolutionary behind their remarkable form.
When informed they had last lost away from home eight months ago, Drinkwater told Foxes Player: "Since March? It sounds good that, doesn't it?
"We're just a solid team. We play to our strengths, try and not play to our weaknesses - it's not rocket science. The gaffer's come in, changed a few things, improved a few things, it's working.
"It's hard to point to a fault at the minute. We've stopping going goals behind, started leading games and sticking it out. The more we do that the better."
It was Vardy who ensured they led in the north east with a strike in first-half stoppage-time that saw him match the 2003 feat of ex-Manchester United forward Van Nistelrooy.
There had been concerns over the England international's hip injury in the pre-match build-up, along with words of encouragement on social media from the man whose record he was trying to emulate, so the spotlight was firmly on the former non-league striker's personal quest.
However, Drinkwater did not notice that burdening his 28-year-old team-mate.
"He crosses the white line and I don't think he thinks about it," Drinkwater added.
"He just knuckles down to the game and enjoys his football. The more he gets the better.
"He's working hard for the team as well as getting his goals so you won't see any lad in the dressing room questioning anything about him on the pitch. He's a great lad to play with and he's definitely the difference."
Vardy was the first player to score against Steve McClaren's Magpies in three fixtures after they had recorded back-to-back clean sheets and appeared to be turning the corner under the ex-England manager prior to the international break.
McClaren lamented their lack of consistency in a performance he dubbed their worst of the campaign so far and he challenged his men to respond at Crystal Palace next Saturday.
"We got exactly what we deserved, which was nothing," he admitted.
"As we said - this is not easy, it's never going to be easy. It's a slow progression - two steps forward, three steps back. It's going to be one of them.
"The reaction of the team is important. Monday morning on the training field, work hard, put it right, make sure we're right against Palace next week."