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Claude Puel vows to keep Foxes focused

Europa League qualification could be a possibility for Leicester if they continue to improve.

Leicester manager Claude Puel does not want to encourage talk of European football among his players.

Since the Frenchman took over in October, the Foxes have climbed up to eighth in the Premier League table and are eight points behind sixth-placed Arsenal.

Progress in the FA Cup also looks a strong possibility with Leicester set to play League One side Peterborough in the fourth round later this month.

While dreams of another European adventure are understandable from a supporters’ point of view after last season’s Champions League exploits, Puel has told his players to maintain their immediate focus otherwise it could be inviting trouble.

“I think that if we begin to look at Europa League possibility and think about European games then it would be the beginning of the end,” Puel said.

“I think it is important to keep a good focus and concentration on our play.

“We try to play good football and we have to continue in this way to find a good consistency game after game.

“The Premier League is so difficult and any opponent is hard to play against, it’s hard to win. I cannot have a view about a long-term thing.

“Of course if we have the capacity to be consistent and the results come then we will see, but at the moment we have to build up this momentum. For the moment we have to be in this moment.”

Leicester will look to maintain their good recent form against Watford at the King Power Stadium on Saturday and look to build on their impressive display at Chelsea last weekend.

Puel’s team outplayed the reigning Premier League champions for large spells of the game until Ben Chilwell was sent off midway through the second half.

However, the Leicester boss believes playing against Watford could be more difficult than facing Antonio Conte’s side.

“Sometimes it is easier to play sides like Chelsea because they try to play on the floor and we can have a solution,” said Puel.

“But when you play against a powerful team like Watford it is difficult. They are a team with a different style and it is a battle and duels.

“We saw against them when we lost (at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day) it was a story of set-pieces. They scored both goals from set-pieces because we lost our focus and concentration.

“It was frustrating last time but now we have a good challenge on Saturday to put it right to try to win this game against a strong opponent.”

Chilwell comes back into contention after serving a one-match ban against Fleetwood in the FA Cup. The likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire, Wilfred Ndidi, Marc Albrighton and Jamie Vardy are expected to return to the starting line up having been rested for Tuesday night’s third-round replay.

Danny Simpson (hamstring) has resumed training but Saturday could come too soon for him to be involved.

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