Belfast Telegraph

Shakespeare: job talk is much ado about nothing

By Sean Taylor

Craig Shakespeare refuses to look beyond today's crucial clash with Premier League relegation rivals Hull as speculation builds regarding the Leicester job.

Shakespeare, assistant to former boss Claudio Ranieri, is in caretaker charge following the Italian's sacking last week and is currently trying to stake his claim for the position on a permanent basis.

However, Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is the latest to be thrown into the mix, with Foxes chiefs impressed with his work in guiding the Green and White Army to Euro 2016.

The 53-year-old Shakespeare won his first game against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium last Monday night and can further underline his credentials with another home victory against Hull.

"I sat down on Wednesday with the vice-chairman and the Director of Football and it was just a chat to ask if I would take the game for this weekend, which I agreed to do," he said.

"The remit is to prepare the team for Hull and see if we can get the same result (as against Liverpool) and then we'll sit down after that, and I'm quite comfortable with that.

"I'm being kept informed and I'm quite comfortable with what I've been asked to do."

Asked if he would like the job permanently, Shakespeare said: "I've enjoyed working with the players but results are the be-all and end-all and the focus is on Hull. We must put back-to-back wins together.

"It's for other people to decide what qualities I've got and whether they are the right qualities."

Reports this week linked ex-England manager Roy Hodgson with the job but Shakespeare says he's not privy to who the owners might be speaking to.

"I don't know and I'll leave that to the powers that be," he said when he was asked if he knew who was under consideration. "I think it's pure speculation, a lot of names have been mentioned and I wouldn't want to speculate on names."

Knowing victory would put six points between Leicester and their opponents, Shakespeare believes the clash with Hull is a bigger game than Liverpool.

"It's bigger because it's the next one," said Shakespeare.

"We have to put back-to-back wins together."

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