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Leicester deserve to be mixing it with big guns: Schmeichel

By Sean Taylor

Published 30/12/2015

In the air: Jamie Vardy battles with City’s Nicolas Otamendi
In the air: Jamie Vardy battles with City’s Nicolas Otamendi

Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was defiant during the game as he repelled Manchester City and after keeping a clean sheet he was equally adamant that the Foxes deserve to enter 2016 joint-top of the Premier League table.

The Denmark international, however, stopped short of suggesting the Foxes could mount a title challenge at this stage.

Claudio Ranieri's side responded to their Boxing Day defeat at Liverpool by taking a deserved point, although those waiting for Leicester to fall from their lofty perch will point to the fact that they have now failed to score in each of their last two games.

Schmeichel is more concerned that he did his job, however.

"It is boring, but it is one game at a time. There's nothing won in December," he said.

"It's what we expect of ourselves and it's the level we set every single day in training.

"We'll just see how far we can go, we're taking it one game at a time and trying to pick up as many points as we can.

"We're a very good team ourselves, we've proven that at the back end of last season and we're halfway through this season and we're still up there in the mix."

Schmeichel denied Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, among others, in an impressive display between the sticks, but felt his side could have taken all three points.

He added: "They had some chances and we had some decent chances as well, we're slightly disappointed, but that's the way it goes. We'll take the point and clean sheet and move on."

City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was less busy than his Leicester counterpart, has urged the third-placed side to improve on their away results.

"It's a clean sheet, that's the positive, but the negative is it's a game we should win," said Hart, after seeing his side fail to win on the road in the Premier League for a sixth successive game.

"We're not where we want to be, but we're right in there without playing very well. We're in a good position and the two teams above us deserve to be above us.

"We need to win all our home games and be hard to beat in our away games and take victories and enjoy it with our fans, who were great again."

City manager Manuel Pellegrini also believed that his team's performance merited three points rather than one. As far as the Premier League title race is concerned, that won't sort itself out for at least another month.

"I think we did more than Leicester to win the game," the Chilean said.

"We had more possession, more attempts, more options but it was a tough game against a tough team playing away.

"This is a crucial period now. I think at the end of January we will know exactly what position we are in."

Belfast Telegraph

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