Belfast Telegraph

Roy Carroll: Leicester City will be up to fight and stay in top four

By Stuart McKinley

Roy Carroll believes that Leicester City's fairytale can continue next season both at home and abroad if they have the right mentality.

The Northern Ireland goalkeeper, however, has warned that playing with the label of champions will bring an entirely different challenge for the Foxes, whose Premier League title success was clinched when Tottenham drew with Chelsea on Monday night.

Carroll knows from first-hand experience how hard it is to win one title, having picked up a Premier League medal with Manchester United in 2003, but the Red Devils didn't win it again for four years and it was 12 months after that before they lifted the Champions League.

"Leicester have done really well and they deserve to be champions," said Carroll, who will weigh up his options after the season finishes at Notts County on Saturday.

"I think their successful battle against relegation last season gave them a lift and Claudio Ranieri has come in, changed some things and they've really pushed on from there.

"Already people are talking about what they will do next season and it will be tough, but they will be looking forward to the test.

"It will be good to see them in the Champions League, it's tough in there, but with a couple of good quality additions they could do well and I can see them in the top four again next season.

"The big thing is the temperament of the players and how they deal with playing week in, week out in the league and having the Champions League on top of that.

"When you come up against the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona with big stars and world-class players it's about how the players react.

"Given the way that Leicester played this season they won't have anything to fear and they'll fancy themselves no matter who they come up against.

"It is very hard to keep winning though. At Manchester United we had experienced players, but couldn't win every season."

It is at home, however, where Carroll expects Leciester to face tests constantly throughout the season, with everyone trying to knock the champions off their perch.

And with the Premier League's massive TV deal meaning even more money is about to flow into the game the big clubs are expected to spend big and it is how Leiecester compete that could tell a tale.

"There are new managers coming into the Premier League who will get money to spend, Manchester United will spend and Arsenal and Tottenham will be trying to challenge again so there be a lot of teams really pushing Leicester next season," said Carroll.

"With the experienced players they have and the energy up front they will still be in the mix."

Belfast Telegraph