Saturday 21 April 2018

Leicester ride their luck to avoid Fleetwood humbling

Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester City 0

Devante Cole of Fleetwood Town and Yohan Benalouane of Leicester City battle for the ball Photo: Getty
Devante Cole of Fleetwood Town and Yohan Benalouane of Leicester City battle for the ball Photo: Getty

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Fleetwood head coach Uwe Rosler insists he is not disappointed his League One side missed the chance to pull off an FA Cup shock against Premier League Leicester.

The hosts has the best chances of the game and could have caused an upset when Ash Hunter's added-time shot rebounded off a post, on to Eldin Jakupovic and back off the post before the goalkeeper recovered to grab the loose ball.

Ben Chilwell of Leicester City is chased by Wes Burns of Fleetwood Town Photo: Getty
Ben Chilwell of Leicester City is chased by Wes Burns of Fleetwood Town Photo: Getty

Prior to that Cian Bolger had planted two good headers just over, while Fleetwood goalkeeper Chris Neal did not have a save to make facing £29m striker Islam Slimani and, late on, his £25m replacement Kelechi Iheanacho.

"I heard that three or four times. Are you disappointed? How can I be disappointed?" said Rosler, whose side are 48 league places below Leicester.

"The biggest game in the club's history, the club is in the best position ever. A sell-out crowd, building a fan culture.

"We played front-foot football. We created enormous chances. It would have been nice to win the game, but I'm definitely not disappointed. Our football club is very young. It was a massive ask and our players get only better. I see it as a great learning curve."

Fans let off flares during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Fleetwood Town and Leicester City Photo: Getty
Fans let off flares during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Fleetwood Town and Leicester City Photo: Getty

A quirky sponsorship deal, the sort which typically crops up around the FA Cup third round, meant Neal finished the game with a year's supply of pizza, having been promised a month's worth for every seven-and-a-half minutes he kept the Foxes at bay.

Rosler admits he will be closely monitoring the goalkeeper's intake over the next few months. "I told him, 'As long as you stay under 12 per cent (body fat) you'll be OK. More than 12 per cent will be a problem for me'," he added.

Leicester made eight changes and were without the injured Jamie Vardy, denied the chance to face his former club, and Riyad Mahrez. However, manager Claude Puel insisted he had no regrets.

"Not a lot because a lot of injuries," he said. "I pick a team to win the game (after considering) the fitness level of my players after four games in 10 days.

"We had a good team on the pitch but it was not enough. Congratulations to this team (Fleetwood)."

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