Saturday 23 March 2019

Swansea boss Clement wary of Leicester backlash after Shakespeare's sacking

Swansea boss Paul Clement expects a Leicester backlash following the sacking of manager Craig Shakespeare
Swansea boss Paul Clement expects a Leicester backlash following the sacking of manager Craig Shakespeare

Paul Clement has warned his Swansea players to expect a Leicester backlash following the sacking of Craig Shakespeare.

Caretaker boss Michael Appleton will be in charge of Leicester at the Liberty Stadium after Shakespeare's eight-month reign ended following Monday night's draw with West Brom.

That 1-1 home draw extended their winless run to six Premier League games and Leicester are in the relegation zone after only one victory this season.

But Swansea head coach Clement said ahead of Saturday's game: "There is something of the unknown now - what will be the reaction of their players?

"We have to be ready for a potential backlash and an upturn in their form.

"You have to be prepared for a team coming out and playing very well, you have to expect to see the best of your opponents.

"But we have prepared well and we are ready and focused."

Shakespeare succeeded Claudio Ranieri on a caretaker basis in February and became only the third manager in Premier League history to win his first five games.

He was handed a three-year contract in the summer after keeping the 2015-16 champions in the Premier League and guiding them to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"It is sad because eight games in he is being judged on the results and they have decided to remove him," Clement said.

"Craig did extremely well in his role, not just as manager but in being an assistant and doing great work behind the scenes to help that team become champions.

"He earned the position to become the manager, but we all know the kind of pressures we face week to week."

Appleton already has a win over Swansea on his managerial CV from his time as Oxford manager.

The 41-year-old's League Two side stunned Swansea in third round of the FA Cup in January 2016 when winning 3-2 at the Kassam Stadium.

"Michael has a lot of experience in football, firstly as a player and more recently in management," Clement said.

"They are certainly in a safe pair of hands for this game, and however many games going forward."

Swansea claimed only their second league win last weekend with a 2-0 defeat of Huddersfield lifting them out of the relegation zone.

"I've been pleased with the way we've defended this season," Clement said.

"But wh at we managed to do in the last game was to get the balance right.

"We were able to defend well but also create some opportunities going forward and I was pleased that we looked more dangerous offensively."

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