Inside Track: Leicester

By SFC Media Tue 27 Nov
Photo by Getty Images | Jamie Vardy

We spoke to Rob Tanner of the Leicester Mercury to get the Foxes’ view ahead of tonight's Carabao Cup tie at the King Power Stadium...

What’s it been like covering Leicester over the past few weeks?

Initially it was surreal after the helicopter crash. As a journalist, you are supposed to be detached from the events you are reporting on, but everyone felt a part of what was happening as the whole city came together.

You couldn’t help being touched by the shrine outside the ground and when I saw people I know who work at the club, and how upset they were, it became very real.

It has been extremely busy and when something happens that is major news on the patch we get a lot of national and international media calling for our take on the story. In some ways, it was similar in this regard to the title winning season.

How have the club come to terms with the tragedy?

The club has handled the aftermath of the tragedy superbly. I know there were a lot of people at the club who were very fond indeed of the chairman and his son.

The club has paid its respects to him with dignity and shown great support for his family, including his son Aiyawatt who is expected to take over as chairman.

The international break eventually came at the right time because it was so hectic there was no time to really take in what had happened.

The wider football community joined Leicester in mourning the tragic death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

How would you describe recent performances on the pitch?

Determined. There was some debate whether the players should play at Cardiff but they wanted to pay their respects in the way they know best, on the pitch. 

They were resolute on that day and they demonstrated their determination and spirit by claiming a point at Brighton with ten men. I think the tragedy has galvanised them.

How big a priority is the Carabao Cup for Leicester this season?

A bigger priority now than it probably was before. City are targeting a cup as a fitting tribute to Khun Vichai. Puel has said how much the owner loved the cup competitions and wanted to win one. 

Since his death that seems to have become a bigger target. Europa League qualification is also something the squad are chasing this season.

Influential midfielder James Maddison misses out through suspension after he was sent off at Brighton

How much is Claude Puel likely to shuffle his pack for this game?

He has a lot of injuries and James Maddison is suspended, so he can’t change too much, but he will still protect one or two. Jamie Vardy was only deemed fit enough on Saturday to be a substitute, so he may not be risked. 

Danny Ward is likely to come in and get a game in goal after performing so well at Wolves in the last round. Caglar Soyuncu, Christian Fuchs, Adrien Silva and Hamza Choudhury could also feature.

How do you see the match unfolding?

It is very hard to predict when so many changes are expected. 

Saints’ position in the table may mean the league is even more of a priority for them than for City, and the fact that Puel has stated they wish to win a cup for the former chairman, coupled with home advantage, could be enough to edge it in City’s favour.

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