Football

Be Vardy wary, Sevilla

Leicester striker optimistic of an upset as Shakespeare is given caretaker role till end of season

Jamie Vardy has warned Sevilla that rejuvenated Leicester City will be a different proposition at home under Craig Shakespeare in their Champions League last-16, second-leg clash tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Shakespeare was on Sunday rewarded for two wins in his two games as a caretaker with the Foxes job until the end of the season.

He assumed control after the 2-1 first-leg loss in Seville, which was Premier League title-winning boss Claudio Ranieri's last match in charge.

And striker Vardy, who scored a potentially vital away goal at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, is optimistic that the Foxes can turn the tie around and qualify for the quarter-finals.

"We're definitely still in it, we'll look forward to the next leg and, hopefully, we can get through," the 30-year-old said.

Wins over Liverpool and Hull City have restored confidence which was fragile under Ranieri.

The Italian was axed after one win in his last 10 games raised the prospect of relegation from the Premier League, which Leicester won in remarkable fashion last May.

Shakespeare's appointment as permanent boss, albeit initially on a short-term deal until the end of the season, will see him try to steer the Foxes into the last eight of the Champions League.

He has spent seven of the last eight seasons on Leicester's coaching staff.

He was assistant to both Ranieri and the Italian's predecessor Nigel Pearson at the King Power Stadium.

"Craig's skills as a coach and the high regard in which he is held by everyone at the club were well known to us," vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha told the official Leicester City website.

"We always knew the team would be in good hands when we asked him to take charge a fortnight ago.

"He has initiated the type of positive response that we hoped change would bring, showing great leadership qualities and composure under considerable pressure to produce two very important results.

"We have asked him to continue to lead the team this season and we are very happy that he has accepted."

Shakespeare, meanwhile, said yesterday that there were "no grudges" between himself and Ranieri.

"Of course, I'm part of that backroom team, but it's about time we all moved on," Shakespeare said.

"I bear no grudges, Claudio bears no grudges. We have to try and move on as a football club."

Asked if he had spoken to Ranieri since his appointment as manager until the end of the season was confirmed, Shakespeare replied: "We haven't spoken since.

"But I said last week, when we spoke he wished me luck. We'll probably be in contact and I have no problem with that."

Shakespeare added that his players will approach tomorrow morning's match with renewed self-belief.

"It will be a special occasion at the King Power," he said.

"The atmosphere will be electric. I'm expecting the team to take the momentum from the two results (against Liverpool and Hull), to take the confidence they've gained from that and really play on the front foot.

"That's not saying we'll be open as we know Sevilla have some world-class players.

"But it makes for a very interesting game because of the away goal." - WIRE SERVICES

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