- Timothy Castagne previews Sunday's visit to Watford in the Premier League (2pm kick-off)
- Leicester City tackle the Hornets at Vicarage Road in their antepenultimate game of 2021/22
- Castagne says the Foxes must match the Hertfordshire club's commitment levels
- He also reflects on his recovery from a thigh injury and outlines why positive end-of-season form is essential
The Belgium international played the full 90 minutes in Leicester's 3-0 success over Norwich City at King Power Stadium on Wednesday – the 26-year-old full-back's 39th outing for club and country this term. Watford are next up for the Foxes at Vicarage Road on Sunday (2pm kick-off).
It's a second successive Premier League fixture against a side who will be in the Sky Bet Championship next season, but Castagne is aware of the dangers the Hornets could pose in Hertfordshire. Speaking in the players' garden at LCFC Training Ground, the former Atalanta defender first reflected on beating Norwich.
"I think, in the first half, we gave them too many chances," he told LCFC TV. "We still did well on the offensive side, but we have to be cleaner behind, especially in the counter attacks. We tried to play our game and we created many chances.
"In the second half, they didn’t have any more chances and we got some nice goals. It was a good response and we have to bring that every week. We have to start the next season now, try to get the momentum on our side and bring as many positives as we can from this season towards next season.
Watford Game All About Mentality, Says Castagne
Timothy Castagne speaks to LCFC TV in Seagrave ahead of Sunday's trip to Vicarage Road to face Watford.
"If you finish the season well, you can go into the holidays feeling better and start the next season better. Last season, we finished a bit badly. We lost points in the last few games and we started the new season on the same note.
"Even though we have nothing to play for, we still have to think about next season and get as much from these games as we can."
City must match Watford's desire at Vicarage Road, Castagne says, with Roy Hodgson's side likely to play with a renewed freedom following confirmation of their relegation. If the visitors can do that, the full-back is confident that Leicester can return to the East Midlands with a 13th top flight win of 2021/22.
"It's a bit like Norwich," he added. "We know we have more quality, but we need to be strong in the duels. We have to win those and be there for the second balls. If we do that, we can win, but if we don’t, they will have confidence. They want to beat Leicester, so it’s going to be about the mentality there."
Watford centre-back Christian Kabasele is a former club team-mate of Castagne at Genk, while they also have both represented Belgium's national team. Leicester's No.27 is looking forward to coming up against a friend at Vicarage Road and knows exactly the qualities he will bring to the table on Sunday.
Vardy's Brace & Maddison's Strike Seal Norwich Win
Enjoy the goals from Leicester City's 3-0 victory over Norwich City at King Power Stadium.
"It was great to be with him," Castagne explained. "Also, we were both in the Dutch part of Belgium, so it was good to have someone to speak French with and he could help me a bit with his experience as well. He was great to play with.
"He’s not scared to be aggressive, so as a full-back, you know you can press very high and you know he’s going to have your back. Because we liked each other off the pitch, it’s always much easier to communicate and understand each other on the pitch, so it was easy [to play with him]."
After recovering from a fractured eye socket sustained at UEFA EURO 2020 – hosted 12 months late due to COVID-19 last summer – a thigh injury curtailed Castagne's return for the Foxes. Now back in the XI once more, and following the birth of his baby daughter, things are looking up for the full-back again.
"I was unfortunate with my injuries," he said. "I had the injury at the Euros and then the one in the middle of the season. I think I came back well from that one and I’m starting to find form. I’ve played two games on the right and I’ve felt very good. Let’s try to finish the season on a strong note.
"You can always use games for confidence and form. I feel pretty good physically, mentally as well. Obviously, the birth of my daughter is not helping with sleep, but I don’t think we saw that against Norwich, so it’s good!"
All times BST.
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