Football: Sacked Puel says it was an 'honour' to manage Leicester and work for late owner Vichai

Claude Puel's 16-month reign came to an end after the 4-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace on Feb 23, Leicester's sixth defeat in seven matches.
Claude Puel's 16-month reign came to an end after the 4-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace on Feb 23, Leicester's sixth defeat in seven matches.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (AFP) - Claude Puel has spoken of his "honour" at being given the opportunity to manage Leicester following his sacking at the weekend.

The 57-year-old Frenchman's 16-month reign came to an end after Saturday's 4-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace, Leicester's sixth defeat in seven matches.

During that run the club have been knocked out of the FA Cup by fourth-tier Newport and dropped to 12th in the English Premier League, eight points above the relegation zone.

"I would like to thank everyone that I worked with at Leicester City Football Club," Puel said in a statement released through the League Managers Association on Monday (Feb 25).

"It was a privilege to work with the players, the staff and the management.

"It was my honour to work for the late and much-loved Khun Vichai, who gave me the fantastic opportunity to manage his club and share some great moments with him.

"My mission at Leicester City Football Club ends here but I will continue to follow the performances of the team and wish the club all the best for the future."

Puel is the fifth English top-flight manager to leave his post this season, following Slavisa Jokanovic from Fulham, Mark Hughes (Southampton), Jose Mourinho (Manchester United) and David Wagner (Huddersfield).

The 2015-16 Premier League champions have endured a traumatic season with the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others in a helicopter crash outside the club's King Power Stadium in October 2018.

Celtic manager and former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is reported to be among the front runners to replace Puel, with reports suggesting that the club may appoint an interim manager until the end of the season.