Football

Leicester to treat every game like a cup final

LEICESTER SUNDERLAND

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare admitted that he is in esteemed company as he continues to plot the champions' survival bid.

The Foxes manager became the first British boss to win his first four games in the Premier League on Saturday, when Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy scored in their 2-0 win over Stoke.

Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink and Pep Guardiola are the only managers to achieve the feat before Shakespeare.

All four have also won the Champions League and, with Leicester travelling to Atletico Madrid in their quarter-final, first-leg tie next week, Shakespeare could still join them in securing European glory.

When that fact was put to him, Shakespeare said: "No pressure there then!

"But those are managers that personally I've looked up to in terms of what they've done.

"If I could do anything like them, then wow, that would be a great achievement.

"I found Mourinho very affable. He's very approachable.

"Most managers will give you the time once you're in the same industry."

Leicester host Sunderland tomorrow morning (Singapore time) aiming for a fifth straight league win during a run which has propelled them six points clear from the drop zone.

"I'm just looking at it as we had two home games from which we're trying to get maximum points," Shakespeare added.

"We got them from Stoke and now have to do it against Sunderland.

"I'm not looking too far ahead in terms of where we can finish.

"I'm just making sure there's no complacency and we stay focused for the next game.

"We want to make sure that not only are we safe but we also climb up the league.

"The only way to do that is to approach every game as if it's a cup final."

Demarai Gray impressed against Stoke after being drafted in as a late replacement for Marc Albrighton, who pulled out with illness.

During the match, he was clattered into by Ryan Shawcross, injuring his shoulder in the process, but the former Birmingham winger admitted he must accept rough treatment comes with the territory.

He said: "I am better off taking it as a compliment if they've got to try to hack me to stop me.

"I got a few challenges, but I just picked myself up and carried on.

"The shoulder is sore, but I'll be fine for the next game." 
- PA SPORT

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