Thursday 18 October 2018

Leicester boss Puel backs Vardy as captain

The England international was skipper for the Southampton game.

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

By Sean Taylor, Press Association Sport

Claude Puel thinks Jamie Vardy is a Leicester captain in the making and could hand the striker the armband again at Crystal Palace.

The Leicester boss picked the 31-year-old to lead the team for the first time against Southampton last week in the absence of Wes Morgan and Kasper Schmeichel.

With Schmeichel still out injured and Morgan possibly set to remain on the bench on Saturday as Puel continues to experiment and assess his options ahead of next season, Vardy may remain in the role.

Puel believes he has all the attributes to be a strong captain.

“I think different players can make captain depending on the game,” he said.

“When Wes isn’t on the pitch it will be Kasper, other times Jamie. It was Jamie for the first time. He was happy before the game to be captain.

“I think it is important for me because he is a good captain. He showed his energy and his quality. He can score and give a good feeling and good way to his team-mates.

“He can be a good captain, also when Wes or Kasper are not here.”

Leicester go into the game with Palace on the back of two defeats and a draw, which has likely cost them the chance to finish seventh in the Premier League and qualify for the Europa League.

A recent issue for Puel’s side has been their bad start to matches. Leicester have conceded the first goal in six of their last eight games.

“I think it is our problem at this moment,” said Puel. “It was better in the last game. The beginning of the game was at a good tempo but not enough chances.

“It is important to continue and correct this situation. A good start is important because it can give us a good way in the game.”

Schmeichel, along with striker Shinji Okazaki remain sidelined with the ankle injuries they sustained at Burnley on April 14 while Daniel Amartey (hamstring) is not ready to return yet either.

Press Association

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