Sunday 22 July 2018

Foxes' players 'cheesed off' over sacking of Shakespeare

Shakespeare was sacked after Monday’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion, only four months after signing a three-year contract. Photo: Adam Davy/PA
Shakespeare was sacked after Monday’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion, only four months after signing a three-year contract. Photo: Adam Davy/PA

John Percy

Leicester City's owners are facing a backlash from angry players after the dismissal of Craig Shakespeare.

Caretaker manager Michael Appleton, a highly regarded coach who quit Oxford to take up the No 2 role at Leicester in June, revealed that the players were "cheesed off" over Shakespeare's departure and demanding answers over why the popular 53-year-old was given only eight Premier League games in charge.

Shakespeare was sacked after Monday's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion - only four months after signing a three-year contract - and the decision has shocked and angered many players.

Leicester's board are stepping up their search for a new manager, with Burnley's Sean Dyche an early favourite.

Appleton, who will take charge for tomorrow's game at Swansea, held a meeting with players yesterday morning and said afterwards: "Obviously the meeting before we went out to training was a little bit raw.

Questions

"People were disappointed and wanted questions answering but I'm not the person for that.

"Did we have any indication we were under pressure? No. I didn't realise Craig was in any danger of being sacked and I'm not sure of the reasons.

"He was highly respected by the players and staff. The initial feeling was one of surprise, but the biggest thing for me is how we deal with it."

Shakespeare signed a three-year deal at the club in June after initially impressing on a temporary basis following Claudio Ranieri's shock sacking in February.

But under the 53-year-old's guidance, Leicester have failed to recreate the form that salvaged their campaign last season.

Indeed, the Foxes have won just one game in the Premier League since the start of the new term, prompting the club's owners to part ways with Shakespeare.

However, Appleton insisted: "I don't believe there is unrest. The group is very positive despite a tough start to the season.

"It's a good dressing room. There are hungry players who want the opportunity to do well."

Dyche has a £2.5m release clause in his contract with Burnley and was targeted by Crystal Palace before they appointed Frank de Boer.

He said: "You're flattered by it. It's some form of recognition of the work done by the players, staff and by myself at the club.

"But there's nothing in my consideration other than Manchester City this weekend."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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