Thursday 24 August 2017

Leicester speculation is much ado about nothing for Shakespeare

Leicester caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare is aiming to put together back-to-back wins when the champions face Hull
Leicester caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare is aiming to put together back-to-back wins when the champions face Hull

Craig Shakespeare refuses to look beyond Saturday's crucial clash with Premier League relegation rivals Hull as speculation builds regarding the Leicester job.

Shakespeare, assistant to former boss Claudio Ranieri, is in caretaker charge following the Italian's sacking last week and is currently trying to stake his claim for the position on a permanent basis.

The 53-year-old won his first game against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium on Monday night and can further underline his credentials with another home victory against Hull.

Should he secure another three points it could make it difficult for the club's Thai owners to ignore him as a candidate, but Shakespeare is not getting carried away.

"I sat down on Wednesday with the vice-chairman and the director of football and it was just a chat to ask if I would take the game for this weekend, which I agreed to do," he said.

"I've been asked just to take the next game and we will sit down again after that. The remit is to prepare the team for Hull and see if we can get the same result (as against Liverpool) and then we'll sit down after that, and I'm quite comfortable with that.

"I'm being kept informed and I'm quite comfortable with what I've been asked to do."

Asked if he would like the job permanently, Shakespeare said: " I've enjoyed working with the players but results are the be-all and end-all and the focus is on Hull. We must put back-to-back wins together.

"I think it's for other people to decide what qualities I've got and whether they are the right qualities."

Reports this week linked former England manager Roy Hodgson with the position but Shakespeare insists he is not privy to who the club's owners might be speaking to.

"I don't know and I'll leave that to the powers that be," he said when he was asked if he knew who was under consideration.

"I think it's pure speculation, a lot of names have been mentioned and I wouldn't want to speculate on names."

Monday's 3-1 win against Liverpool ended a five-match losing run in the Premier League and was a first victory in seven league games, moving the Foxes out of the relegation zone.

Knowing victory on Saturday would put six points between Leicester and their opponents, Shakespeare believes the clash with Hull is an even bigger game.

"It's bigger because it's the next one," said Shakespeare, who believes Leicester have enough quality in their squad to pull clear of trouble.

"We have to put back-to-back wins together. We've spoken about the 13-game season, it's now 12 starting with Hull, and we have to put in a big performance because it's a big game for us.

"I am quite confident that with the squad we've got we can pull away but we need to start with back-to-back wins."

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