Sport Soccer

Saturday 29 April 2017

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare proud of managerial feat after Stoke win

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare joined an elite group by securing four wins in his first four matches in charge
Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare joined an elite group by securing four wins in his first four matches in charge

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare revealed his pride after making Premier League history following a 2-0 win over Stoke.

The 53-year-old became the first English manager to win his four opening Premier League games on Saturday.

The Foxes are now six points clear of the bottom three after goals from Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy helped Shakespeare enter the top-flight record books.

Pep Guardiola, Guus Hiddink, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti have also achieved the feat, with Shakespeare now joining them.

"I'm very proud. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself in terms of the names being mentioned," said the boss, who has also guided Leicester into the Champions League quarter-finals.

"I know I'm at the very early stages of a management career but to be mentioned in the same breath as them, it makes me very proud.

"Also, I have realised there are a lot of people to thank along the way in terms of my previous managers when I've been assistant, but also the players as well."

The Foxes started with fireworks to celebrate owner Vichai S rivaddhanaprabha's birthday on Tuesday, and Ndidi added his own rocket after 25 minutes when he fired into the top corner.

Vardy doubled the lead just 76 seconds into the second half - his fifth goal in six club games.

"It never felt comfortable but I did feel the first goal was going to be important - what a goal it was by the way," said Shakespeare.

"It gave us a foothold in the game and the timing of the second goal was vitally important."

Demarai Gray also impressed after Marc Albrighton dropped out on Saturday morning feeling ill and Shakespeare admitted the winger was not due to start.

He added: "No, he wasn't. Marc turned in this morning with flu-like symptoms. We thought it was best to let him go home rather than spread it. Demarai had a very good game."

Peter Crouch was denied by Kasper Schmeichel in injury time but Stoke offered little.

They remain ninth in the Premier League and boss Mark Hughes was left to rue Vardy's strike so early in the second half.

He said: "It summed up our day. We had been off the pace, half a yard short all day long. We got away with it to a certain extent in the first half, they had a number of opportunities, but at 1-0 we felt we were very much in it.

"We conceded almost immediately and at 2-0 down it looked a long way back.

"We didn't check his run. Vardy is one of the best in terms of his movement and anticipating the type of balls, and sometimes he makes an average ball into an outstanding one.

"It was a great striker's goal. Good movement and a good finish but we needed to do better defensively, not only in that moment but in the game in general."

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport