Belfast Telegraph

Shakespeare urges Leicester to move on after handing back Premier League trophy

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare insists the outgoing champions must move on after handing back their trophy.

The Foxes have now given up the Premier League silverware they won in such stunning style last year with Chelsea on the brink of regaining the crown.

Leicester host Watford in the top flight on Saturday placed 11th in the table and 41 points behind Antonio Conte's champions elect.

This time last year they had just been crowned winners - after being 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season - in one of football's biggest upsets.

But Shakespeare, who replaced title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri in February, wants to look forward after the trophy left the club this week.

"It came down to the canteen and we all had a little look at it again. It brings back great memories, as it should, and rightly so, but we definitely have to move on from that now ," said the 53-year-old, who was assistant during last year's triumphant campaign.

"No-one can take those memories away and I will always remember sitting at home watching the Chelsea game against Spurs (a 2-2 draw which gave Leicester the title) and coming into training the next day was really when it hit home.

"Celebrating with the players, Claudio and everybody who was associated with the football club.

"The owners flew in and those memories will stay with me forever but we have to move on now.

"No I didn't (give the trophy a kiss). It was probably humbug a bit, but it wasn't that I didn't think about it or get reminded of it but I'm trying to move on from it."

Leicester ended a five-game winless run with last week's 1-0 win at West Brom and are chasing a top-half finish after struggling against relegation for much of the season.

It is a far cry from last term's success, despite the Foxes reaching the Champions League quarter-finals this year.

"Football has this great habit of reminding you at times that if you take your foot off the gas you will get beaten," added Shakespeare.

"We have to remind ourselves of what the here and now is and that's the most important thing."

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