Foxes won't put feet up despite being safe

LONDON • Craig Shakespeare insisted Leicester City's season is not at an end despite the 2015-16 champions reaching 40 points.

Jamie Vardy's goal secured a 1-0 win for the Foxes at West Brom on Saturday, all but guaranteeing Leicester's top-flight status, with 40 points traditionally regarded as the mark at which relegation is unlikely.

Leicester had looked in danger of the drop when Shakespeare took over from sacked title-winning boss Claudio Ranieri in February. But despite an impressive turnaround, the Englishman was taking anything for granted.

"We are not mathematically safe," said Shakespeare, who has taken 19 points from a possible 27 since taking charge. "We're delighted to have three points. This is a giant step toward that aim. But even if we had got there, we have a duty to perform in every game."

Leicester are 11th in the table, six points clear of 17th-placed Hull City, who sit just above the drop zone, with four games left.

In-form England striker Vardy - who had just one shot on target all afternoon - scored his 10th goal in 15 games for club and country to settle Saturday's match from a pass by strike partner Shinji Okazaki.

"Shinji weighted the pass terrifically," said Shakespeare. "Vardy is in that purple patch, but he has got to to thank the other players for the service and he will say that.

"He is a striker in form, his attributes are being quick and playing on the shoulder of defenders.

"I want Jamie to finish on a high. He's scored quite a few of late and I want that to continue."

West Brom claimed an unwanted club record by going a fifth successive league game without a goal for the first time in their history and manager Tony Pulis said: "We're disappointed, that's five games without scoring and four games losing 1-0.

"We've talked all week about Vardy and the changeover. They play that ball very quickly for him to run into space and we got caught. The reaction of the players, especially in the second half, was first-class."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'Foxes won't put feet up despite being safe'. Print Edition | Subscribe