- Leicester City drew 0-0 with Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Monday
- Manager Dean Smith was proud with the clean sheet in testing circumstances
- He says City were determined to earn all three points in the North East
- Leicester's top-flight status hinges on final-day results going their way
The Foxes secured their first clean sheet since November despite the home side hitting the woodwork three times at St. James' Park. Nick Pope made a superb save in added time to deny City a win which would have lifted them outside of the bottom three ahead of the final weekend of the season.
A point was enough for Newcastle to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Speaking afterwards, Smith pointed to the Magpies' sterling season and their frightening attacking qualities as reasons to be proud of the performance. Smith lined his side up in a 5-3-2 formation on Monday evening, hoping to hit the home side on the counter, and he says that plan almost worked.
I had to make some sacrifices with our two leading goalscorers left out. The idea was to stay in the game for as long as we could and then get them on and hopefully create something.Dean Smith LCFC TV
"We always knew that it was going to be a tough ask," the Manager told LCFC TV in the North East. "Not many people would have expected us to get a result here, yet alone our first clean sheet in 22 games. The reason we are where we are in the league is because of that – we haven’t kept enough clean sheets.
"I make no apologies for the way we played. We felt we had to tighten up defensively. I watched them on Thursday and I made my mind up then. We needed an extra defender. The quality, power and height advantage they have from set-pieces and with the powerful runs they’ve got, with the momentum they’re on, it was not going to be easy.
"I had to make some sacrifices with our two leading goalscorers left out. The idea was to stay in the game for as long as we could and then get them on and hopefully create something. Then [Timothy Castagne] gets his chance in the 90th minute and the goalkeeper makes a wonderful save.
"Another time, I’d be really pleased with a 0-0 against a team that’s just qualified for the Champions League, but it takes it out of our hands now unfortunately. We can be proud with the clean sheet and we fought today. We tried to get the win, but unfortunately, we have to try and get the win and hope that lady luck shines down on us."
We’ve hopefully put some added pressure onto Everton, who need to win as well, if we win.Dean Smith LCFC TV
West Ham United are the visitors to King Power Stadium next Sunday (4:30pm BST kick-off). City are 18th on 31 points. 17th-placed Everton, meanwhile, are on 33 and host AFC Bournemouth, while 19th placed Leeds United – on 31 – entertain Tottenham Hotspur. One of three will survive. Leicester must win and hope Everton do not win themselves. In the event of a City victory, if Leeds win, they would have to overturn a significant goal difference deficit to finish above the Foxes.
"We need to win," Smith said. "We’ve hopefully put some added pressure onto Everton, who need to win as well, if we win.
"I always said it may come down to goal difference and let’s hope it does as that’ll mean they haven’t won their game and, if they’ve drawn, that’s not enough for them. We’ve got to go our all guns blazing and we’ve got to find that balance between not going too open and adventurous – making it easier for a strong West Ham team to score.
"There’s no given that we’re going to win that game. We’re going to have to go and perform ourselves."
- Share via Facebook
- Share via Twitter
- Share via Email
- Share via Whatsapp
- Share via Facebook Messenger
คัดลอก URL ลงคลิปบอร์ด
URL copied to clipboard