Belfast Telegraph

Craig Shakespeare: Leicester's tough start a factor in poor points return

Craig Shakespeare thinks Leicester's difficult run of fixtures provides some context to their disappointing start to the season.

However, the Foxes boss believes his side should have more points on the board and is looking to head into the international break with a positive result at Bournemouth.

Leicester have won only one of their first six Premier League matches but have already faced Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Defeat on the south coast on Saturday would leave Shakespeare's side in the bottom three but the 53-year-old does not think things are as bad as they appear on the surface.

"I think the fixtures we've had does help explain the run we are on but we are disappointed because we wanted a better points return," said the Leicester manager.

"We knew at the beginning of the season when the fixtures were put out that it was going to be hard. We knew we were up against some of the top teams and we knew what to expect so there's no point harping on about it.

"You have to move on and we're over that but that doesn't mean that any of the games coming up are any easier.

"Bournemouth are a very good side but they haven't made the best of starts either, for whatever reason. But we are concentrating on ourselves and our strengths and we will head down there with confidence and hopefully go into the two-week break with a positive result."

Leicester had the opportunity to earn a point against Liverpool last week but Jamie Vardy saw his penalty saved in a 3-2 home defeat.

Shakespeare does not think the miss will affect the England striker too much or deter him from taking future spot kicks.

He said: "Because of his character I think he can get over it quite easily, very quickly. Of course the disappointment is still there but I think he's the type of person who will not shy away, if a penalty is given, of putting his hand up and taking the next one."

Shakespeare is keeping an eye on the fitness of Vardy. He has been managing a hip problem and only trained for the first time this week on Thursday but is expected to be available against Bournemouth.

Defender Robert Huth, who underwent ankle surgery in the summer, and midfielder Matty James (Achilles) remain out.

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