St Ledger back in Foxes frame
Irish stopper determined to nail down starting spot
THE boys at Sky Sports News will go into overdrive today with the looming closure of the transfer window.
But the good news for Giovanni Trapattoni and his plans for the Euro 2012 finals is that Brian Swanson and the chaps from Sky won't be chasing Sean St Ledger down country lanes or through airport lounges looking for a reaction to his sudden transfer to Anzhi Makhalachka, as the 27-year-old is very much back in the fold with Leicester City.
The club have confirmed that St Ledger is no longer on the transfer list and the Irish international has denied claims that he had a bust-up with manager Nigel Pearson.
For now, things are looking good for St Ledger, as the defender -- who earlier this season went for three months without playing a league game for the Foxes -- is sitting pretty in a Leicester defence which has enjoyed three clean sheets and three wins in the last three games.
"My season has been up and down. When you join a new club, you want to try and play and be a regular week in week out and that's not happened for me, it's been a frustrating time," said St Ledger.
"But I have played in the last three games on the bounce and it's great to be involved, it's nice to be in a side that's keeping clean sheets and winning games.
"The change of manager during the season is always tough because a new manager coming in will bring in his own people.
"Me and the manager have never had an argument, some of the things that are written in the media are not always correct. Me and him get on well, contrary to reports. He is happy with the way I have handled the situation -- he's been fine with me, he's been good," added St Legder.
Not so long ago his future at Leicester looked bleak as St Ledger, who was signed by previous manager Sven Goran Eriksson, was frozen out and appeared to be on his way out as well, with Ipswich Town even making a bid before he patched things up.
"He (St Ledger) is fine and there is no rift. I am delighted with his performances. Is he off the transfer list? Yes, why not!" said manager Pearson before Saturday's cup game, when St Ledger turned in another impressive display in defence.
St Ledger's cause has been helped by events far away as central defender Sol Bamba is away on international duty with the Ivory Coast.
"I have the shirt and it's up to me to keep it now, that's what the manager has said to me," St Ledger said.
"I've been fortunate in that Sol Bamba has gone away to the African Cup of Nations and Konch (Paul Konchesky) has had a niggle, so I took my chance and went on from there.
"I am taking each game as it comes but I am fortunate that I am playing in a very good side with good players. The players in front of me have worked very hard in closing people down and making it easier for the defence and the goalkeeper.
"I am enjoying it here, I have made some great friends at Leicester. It's a great set up with a brilliant stadium. The club is set for the Premier League, that's what the owners want," he added.
"In the Championship everyone is capable of beating everyone else, it's so inconsistent as a league. We're trying to put a run together and hopefully get into the play-offs, the club have spent a lot of money in the summer and everyone expects that, (but) the pressure of that can be difficult, so we are aiming for the play-offs."
Of course promotion's not his sole aim for the season as he has some serious business with the national team in June.
"I'm 27 now and not getting any younger, so the Euros in Poland will be the pinnacle of my career if I get the chance to get into the squad, and it's my ambition to play there," he said.
"I texted the manager a few weeks ago and I speak to Marco (Tardelli) regularly, they have been brilliant for us. It's a long time since we qualified for the Euros."
And there's the small matter of the FA Cup and a meeting with Premier League side Norwich thanks to the weekend win over Swindon Town.
"I love playing in the FA Cup, watching it as a young boy it was always a special trophy. It gives you a chance to play a Premier League club which, with us being in the Championship, we don't get too often," he said.
"It is special when the lesser teams draw a big club, not everyone gets a chance to play against the likes of Wayne Rooney and the Steven Gerrards of this world."