Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 April 2018

Competition cost Danny Simpson his place, says Leicester boss Claude Puel

Midfielder Daniel Amartey was chosen ahead of Simpson for last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Bournemouth.

Leicester City v Burnley – Premier League – King Power Stadium
Leicester City v Burnley – Premier League – King Power Stadium

By Sean Taylor, Press Association Sport

Leicester boss Claude Puel insists there is no problem with Danny Simpson after he dropped the defender last weekend.

There were reports this week that the 31-year-old wanted talks with his manager over his surprise omission against Bournemouth, when midfielder Daniel Amartey was selected ahead of Simpson to play right-back.

Puel’s decision backfired badly when Amartey went off with a hamstring injury after just 20 minutes and the position had to be filled by winger Marc Albrighton, who gave away the first-half penalty for Bournemouth’s goal in the 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium.

Amartey is now out for around a month so Puel must immediately turn back to Simpson for Saturday’s trip to West Brom, and he has spoken with the Premier League title-winner to explain his decision.

“It is not a difficult situation, it is just competition between players,” said the Leicester boss. “I found Daniel Amartey has made good progress in this position and can offer good things.

“Danny came back after his hamstring injury and needed perhaps a little more time to get back to a high level.

“I think the level between the two players at this time is close and it is good for the squad to have competition between them, with a good spirit to fight for the place. It is a good thing.

“I have had some discussion with Danny, like all the players. I like to give to the player a discussion, not just about why they play or not.

“This is the life of competition of a player in the squad, but also to give them some possibility to continue to improve and work on some aspect of their play.

“It is important to try to develop all the squad and all the team. Whether it is a young player or an experienced player, it is the same thing, they can all improve on different aspects.

“Danny is a very good professional and he has a good attitude. He always gives his best in training and in the games. It is a good feeling, no problem.”

Elsewhere ahead of the trip to The Hawthorns to face bottom-of-the-table West Brom, striker Shinji Okazaki is available after recovering from the knee problem which saw him miss four matches.

Press Association

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