Football: Loss to Arsenal will rally Leicester, says Morgan

Wes Morgan tries to control the ball during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester City.
Wes Morgan tries to control the ball during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester City. PHOTO: AFP

Leicester defender says his team are immune to pressure and will bounce back from defeat

LONDON • Wes Morgan is confident Leicester's challenge for the Premier League title will not be derailed by the dispiriting manner of their 1-2 defeat at Arsenal, insisting they will draw encouragement from a tenacious performance and bounce back swiftly.

The dismissal of Danny Simpson meant Leicester played most of the second half at the Emirates Stadium with 10 men. But they were on course for a point until the dying seconds, when a dramatic intervention by substitute Danny Welbeck sealed a league double for Arsenal over Claudio Ranieri's side.

It was Leicester's third Premier League defeat of the season and they remain two points clear of Tottenham and Arsenal at the top and do not face another top-five side for the remainder of the campaign.

Successive home games against Norwich and West Brom are scheduled after the international break.

In contrast, new title favourites Arsenal still have to travel to Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City, and West Ham United. The Gunners are also still involved in the Champions League and FA Cup. Second favourites Tottenham and City are also involved in Europe and the FA Cup.

Morgan is adamant there will be no hangover. "It's just disappointing to lose the way we did, more than anything," said the defender.

"We have to take heart from this game and our confidence will be the same. We'll make sure we bounce back in the next game.

"It's always going to be difficult going down to 10 men against the likes of Arsenal. What's most disappointing is that we've stuck in there right until the last kick of the game and then conceded. It is a bitter pill to take but we'll take the positives.

"We've shown our endeavour, our togetherness and how well we can stick in there when it goes against us."

His sentiments were echoed by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

"It is a loss, we move on and we will have the same attitude," he said. "We have as good a chance as anyone to have a very good season."

With a stable side the bedrock of their remarkable campaign, Leicester should benefit more than most from the fortnight-long Premier League hiatus.

Morgan has dismissed talk of the physical toll exacted by the rigours of Ranieri's pressing game and their explosive counter-attacking style, claiming Leicester are simply enjoying a run that has won them admirers across the country.

"We're training most days and it's part of the job," said the Jamaica international. "You have to have that fitness to compete at this level. We're a team that like to counter-attack with pace and power and you need to have the legs and the energy to do that.

"We're the type of team where the pressure won't really get to us and we're enjoying every game as it comes. We just want to prove how good we can be."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2016, with the headline 'Loss to Gunners will rally Foxes: Morgan'. Print Edition | Subscribe