Belfast Telegraph

Leicester defender Evans not getting carried away with title talk

The Foxes have won six of their last seven Premier League games.

Leicester beat Arsenal on Saturday to cement themselves in the top four (Nick Potts/PA)
Leicester beat Arsenal on Saturday to cement themselves in the top four (Nick Potts/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, PA

Jonny Evans insists Leicester can only be judged after Christmas as he remained cautious over their title challenge.

The Foxes moved up to second place in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday – a sixth win in their last seven top-flight games.

The surprise 2016 champions ended the weekend nine points clear of fifth-placed Sheffield United, but Northern Ireland defender Evans refused to get drawn into title talk.

“I don’t think you’ll be able to judge that until after Christmas when we’re getting into it,” the 31-year-old said when asked about Leicester’s hopes.

“We know how seasons can finish. It’ll be tough. We need a big squad to do that, and all firing in the right directions.

“We’ve shown we can battle games out but we’ve just got to do what we’re doing and see where it takes us.

“It’s still really early on in the season. If you look at it there’s still teams like Sheffield United sitting fifth. So we know it’s going to be a long season and every team can beat everyone.

“We’re in good confidence at the moment but the next period, especially being Christmas, will really test everyone’s squad.”

Jamie Vardy scored his 11th of the season before setting up James Maddison to score a game-clinching second 15 minutes from time.

Vardy was one of five members of Saturday’s squad to have won their shock title in three years ago, but Evans refused to compare the teams.

“I think it’s hard,” said the former Manchester United and West Brom man, who joined the Foxes in 2018. “What they did that year was incredible. I suppose it’s a compliment, really, to be compared to that team.

“I think teams disrespected Leicester that season, in terms of probably not really realising how good they were, and kept being caught short.

“After that, teams tried to become aware that they played on the counter-attack and not over-commit.

“I’m sure teams realise we are a good side and in every game I think we’ve played well, given everyone a test.”

The result left Arsenal sixth, with one win in their last six Premier League games, and nine points behind Leicester.

But striker Alexandre Lacazette defended under-fire manager Unai Emery.

“Last season when we were unbeaten in 20 games in a row nobody said anything about the coach or manager,” the Frenchman said.

“We miss confidence and we need the international break.

“I hope we are going to come back well. We want to be top four, of course.

“Now we are nine points behind Chelsea and Leicester and it is going to be hard, but everything is possible in football.”

PA

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