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Leicester boss Dean Smith defends his under-fire players

In the struggle for their Premier League survival, Dean Smith defended his under fire Leicester teammates.

The Foxes know their status in the top division is in jeopardy since they are two points from safety with two games remaining when they go to Newcastle on Monday.

If Nottingham Forest wins its match against Arsenal and Everton wins at Wolves, Leicester will need to win at St. James’ Park in order to avoid being eliminated.

Smith has lent his backing to the team despite criticism that they don’t have the will to fight their way out of the relegation zone (one win in their past 14 games).

Leicester has a tough schedule ahead to stay in the league

“I don’t need to pay homage to the players, I’ve inherited a squad and not brought any of them in,” said the boss, who saw the Foxes limply lose 3-0 to Liverpool on Monday.

“I can openly criticize them if I need to, I don’t think I need to and I choose not to because the work ethic I see is there.

“The numbers I get from my performance department prove to me it’s there. But the thing which is missing is keeping clean sheets and making fewer mistakes in the defensive third.

“It’s out of our hands because if other teams get the results there’s nothing we can do. We just have to concentrate on Newcastle and get the win.

“If we get the performance we are capable of and minimize mistakes, not a problem.

“We are in a position we don’t want to be in. But our job is to get out of it. Our job hasn’t changed from eight games (when he came in) to two games.

“If you look at it realistically it was going to be tough to get points from Manchester City and Liverpool. Other games we would have expected to get points.”

While Caglar Soyuncu (hamstring) and Danny Ward (dislocated finger) are still out, Kelechi Iheanacho (groin) and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (ankle) are anticipated to return to training on Saturday.

Leicester will be aware of all the results before to the game because it is the fourth consecutive Monday game, but Smith stressed that other scorelines will not affect his strategy.

He added: “We’re preparing for Newcastle now, I don’t want to suddenly change tactics with what we’ve been working on for four or five days.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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