We must continue the Leicester City he built – Claude Puel
Leicester play their first match since the tragedy on Saturday.
Claude Puel feels he and his players have a responsibility to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha to “continue the Leicester City he built” as they attempt to put a traumatic week behind them at Cardiff on Saturday.
Leicester owner Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people died when his helicopter crashed just yards from the King Power Stadium following the game against West Ham on Saturday.
The club’s next scheduled fixture was duly postponed – a Carabao Cup tie at home to Southampton that has been rearranged for Tuesday, November 27 – but the Premier League match away to Cardiff will go ahead as planned.
Manager Puel insists the result in Wales this weekend is not important in his side’s first match since the tragedy.
“Playing football has not been at (the) front of our minds this week,” he said. “But for this weekend, and all the matches thereafter, we play to honour a man who did so much for our club.
“The result is not important, but our desire, our actions to give our best on the pitch to honour our chairman, is the most important thing.
“We have a responsibility about the memory and the work he put in place. Vichai made Leicester City into what it is. He made it a family and made a dream and we must continue the Leicester City he built.
During today’s pre-match press conference, Leicester City manager Claude Puel read a personal statement in tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and all those who lost their lives on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/HUtNTbJD0E— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 1, 2018
“We have a responsibility to play for him and perform for him. We will play for him, for ‘Top’ (Aiyawatt, Srivaddhanaprabha’s son) and his family.”
Leicester’s players and staff have been offered grief counselling in the wake of the disaster.
Puel said: “A lot of people have been made available to help the players and staff. I think everyone’s reaction to this event is different and we have to understand that people can have a different reaction but we put in place all the help necessary for all the people.”
Although they are set to return to the pitch, their playing commitments could clash with the funeral, which begins in Thailand on Saturday and could last for up to a week.
Puel said: “I want to give players the opportunity to go if they want to but I don’t know about the logistics. But the players want to go and support Vichai’s family.”