Leicester turn focus to EPL survival

LONDON • Leicester City will feed off the momentum from their dramatic Champions League victory over Sevilla as they return to the battle for English Premier League survival at West Ham today.

After overseeing league victories over Liverpool and Hull following the shock sacking of Claudio Ranieri, Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare led the Foxes into the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Such was the euphoria surrounding their 2-0 victory over Sevilla in the last 16, their perilous position just three points above the Premier League relegation zone was forgotten, for a few hours at least.

But Shakespeare brought his players back down to earth by preventing them from watching yesterday's Champions League quarter-final draw.

"We will be training. We will find out when we go back in after training," he said.

"We want to train as normal and the preparation has to be for the West Ham game."

He also defended Leicester striker Jamie Vardy against allegations of cheating from Sevilla's Samir Nasri.

Nasri was dismissed for a second bookable offence after the pair went head to head and later accused Vardy of cheating by exaggerating the clash.

But Shakespeare said: "Jamie's not a cheat. The game has gone, the referee made his decision and we have to move on."

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said he was impressed with Vardy's performance against Sevilla as the striker continues his resurgence after a lacklustre first half of the season.

"It was Vardy from last year," Bilic said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2017, with the headline 'Leicester turn focus to EPL survival'. Print Edition | Subscribe