City manager Nigel Pearson admits the standard of his team’s pre-season performances has left places in his starting eleven up for grabs.
Just days before the new season gets underway, Pearson’s side produced perhaps their best display of the summer in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Premier League Sunderland.
Youngster Tom Parkes stepped off the bench to prod home a winner 18 minutes from the end against the Black Cats, but it was the overall quality of City’s play that will have generated optimism among the Blue Army.
And as he prepares his side for a midweek trip to Torquay United in the Capital One Cup before next Saturday’s npower Championship opener at home to Peterborough, Pearson has selection decisions to ponder.
“The players have all worked exceptionally hard in pre-season and, for the most part, they’ve put themselves into a situation where it’s going to be a tough choice,” said the City boss.
“But because the squad’s not exceptionally big this year, all the players are going to be required and everyone will play a significant part this season.
“It’s up to them to deal with the disappointment if they’re not in the side for the first or second game, but we’ll need them all for sure this season.”
New boy Jamie Vardy gave fans a bit of a scare when he limped off just before half-time, after an energetic display in City’s attack.
But Pearson confirmed the withdrawal of his summer signing was merely precautionary ahead of an important week.
“His back was a little bit tight, but Jamie’s a player that plays a lot of games so I’m not too worried about that.
“Today we decided that if there were any players with any little question marks we’d take them off.
“There were some pleasing things today, but it’s good to get to the competitive season now.”