Kasper Schmeichel reveals 'relief' as Leicester maintain Champions League bid
Mar 19, 2017, 00:18
Any suggestions of Leicester weariness following their Champions League exploits were swiftly put to bed during a ferocious start.
"I left it to him, his decision whether to go somewhere for a week and come back as strong as he was".
Cottee went on to assess the way the game might go, and he highlighted the match-up between Foxes attacking pair Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki and the struggling West Ham defence as a key battle.
"I haven't banned talk of the Champions League but after the game the focus, what I wanted, has been on West Ham", he told reporters.
On frustration from joint-chairman David Sullivan after losing 3-2 at Bournemouth: "It was a comment on that game, and I said also we can't be happy with the way we performed and how we conceded the three goals".
Leicester, of course, are on cloud nine after reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League in midweek, but will be brought back down to Earth with a bump by a return to league action. A disappointed manager after the defeat said, "The two missed penalties damaged us a lot..." Strikers live and die by their goals but the overall performance of forwards is vitally important.
West Ham simply could not cope with the pace and before they knew it the hosts were 2-0 down.
"There are some good ones (strikers) and he is proven in terms of being in the (England) squad before so he's up there with the rest of them".
The Foxes travel to West Ham on Saturday with only a three-point cushion to the relegation zone, something the Leicester boss is keen to at least keep intact.
West Ham have lost as many games against Leicester in their last five (4), as they did in the previous 25 combined (all comps).
The fourth-place team in the Premier League may drop into the Europa League if both Leicester and Manchester United lift silverware in Europe this season.
However, Leicester are the only team in the Premier League this season which has failed to open the scoring in an away fixture.
"It seems the very best players are concentrated elsewhere, and there is just a sprinkling of the leading players in the Premier League sides".
For now, Leicester will continue to the fly the English flag this season but face a tough task to extend their fairytale story further.
Kasper Schmeichel was at his very best to make a vital late save, while an bad Ayew miss let Leicester off the hook and saw the match slip away from West Ham.
Leicester turned up at the London Stadium without an away win in the Premier League all season.
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