Friday 22 March 2019

Puel keen for fresh start to 2018 against Terriers

Claude Puel
Claude Puel

Leicester boss Claude Puel has labelled the New Year's Day clash with Huddersfield as "crucial" for his Foxes as they look to end their winless run.

Since claiming victory four times in a row in the Premier League, Leicester have taken only one point from the four games that have followed.

Ahead of the home match against the Terriers, Puel, whose men lost 2-1 at Liverpool on Saturday, said: "This is a crucial game for us. We need to build new momentum. It is not a good period for the results."

The Anfield contest saw Jamie Vardy put the visitors in front before Mohamed Salah's second-half brace turned things around.

Puel's team also opened the scoring at Watford on St Stephen's Day, only to end up being beaten 2-1.

Leicester have played six away matches under the Frenchman following his appointment as their manager in October and while they have had the lead in all of them, only two have yielded wins.

Puel added: "We need to make progress with our quality, after we regain possession for example.

"There is fantastic hard work from all the team, with togetherness and a positive outlook.

"But now we need to have a little more possession and control of the ball.

"We were leading a lot of games away in these last games but often the team can come back against us. We need to have more control of the game."

Eighth-placed Leicester face a Huddersfield outfit who they lead by three places and three points in the table.


David Wagner's team are unbeaten in four games, having drawn each of their last three.

Leicester will assess Ben Chilwell after the defender missed the match on Saturday due to illness.

Robert Huth, sidelined since the summer by an ankle injury, has been nearing a first-team return but is not set to feature in this contest, and Danny Simpson (hamstring) is still out.

While Adrien Silva will be registered for Leicester in January, his paperwork will not come in time for him to be involved in today's game.

Huddersfield head coach David Wagner wants his side to launch 2018 with an improved performance today.

The Terriers were below-par in Saturday's goalless home draw against Burnley, but after eking out another crucial point Wagner is satisfied they are on course to achieve their sole aim and retain their Premier League status.

"It's all about survival," Wagner said after his side closed 2017 in 11th place in the table, six points clear of the relegation zone.

"We're on a good starting point to achieve our target, to survive in the Premier League, not more, not less. Anything else is totally irrelevant."


Four straight defeats in November after a spirited start to their first season in the Premier League brought the Terriers' survival fight into sharp focus.

But Wagner's side have responded in December, collecting nine points from their last six matches with two wins, one defeat and draws in each of their last three.

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