Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Fleetwood keeper surprised by Foxes' lack of bite

Fleetwood Town 0 Leicester City 0

By Carl Markham

Fleetwood goalkeeper Chris Neal admits he was surprised how comfortable a game he had against Leicester.

The League One side had the better chances against their Premier League visitors and could have caused an upset when Ash Hunter's added-time shot rebounded off the post, on to Eldin Jakupovic and back off the post before the Foxes goalkeeper grabbed the loose ball.

By contrast Neal did not have a save to make as he earned himself a year's supply of pizza from the club's sponsors. Despite facing facing £29million striker Islam Slimani and, late in the second half, his £25m replacement Kelechi Iheanacho as well as fellow substitute Shinji Okazaki, Neal said: "We were quite comfortable to be honest.

"Most of their play was in front of us and I think that is down to the manager (Uwe Rosler) and the staff how we set up to play a team like Leicester.

"We knew they were good on the counter-attack and we nullified them and the boys should be proud of it.

"When you are playing against a team like Leicester and how well they have been doing this year and in previous years it is probably a bit of a shock how comfortable we were.

"It is big for the club. I don't think we've played a Premier League team before so to play how we did, we should be very proud.

"We haven't knocked them out and we have to go back to the King Power and it will be a different game there.

"But financially this tie was massive to the club and that will increase even more when we go back to their place."

As a result of the quirky sponsorship deal, Neal knew he would be rewarded with a month's worth of pizza for every seven-and-a-half minutes he kept the Foxes at bay.

So as a professional footballer, does he eat much pizza?

"Not very often. It is not great for us but it is nice for games of this magnitude to get a little bit of interest from companies," Neal added.

"He (Rosler) has not mentioned anything about it but I am sure he will mention I can't have too much.

"It is an added bonus on an occasion like this."

The only blip on the day was that the game billed as the Jamie Vardy derby was lacking the main participant.

Vardy did not make the squad against his former club due to a groin problem, but he should be available for the replay.

Belfast Telegraph

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