Enzo Maresca

Maresca: A Completely Different Game

Seeing Leicester City's playing style evolve in such a short period of time has been particularly pleasing for Manager Enzo Maresca.
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With nine all-competition wins in 10 matches at the outset of his tenure at the Club, Maresca has guided City to the top of the Sky Bet Championship and into the third round of the Carabao Cup.

The Italian's vision is a long-term one with the Foxes, but the results have been immediate. He knows all too well that there will be bumps in the road and that challenges lie on the horizon, but the early signs are promising for Leicester.

His side are due at Anfield on Wednesday to face Liverpool for a place in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. It's a big test for Maresca's developing side, but it's one which excites him too, as he explained in his pre-match press conference... 

'We are in the right position now'

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Enzo Maresca

Enzo Maresca oversees training in Seagrave earlier this week.

Maresca believes sitting top of the table is a fitting reward for the work his players have put in this summer. His new players have adjusted admirably to new methods and ideas, exhibiting a fluid, possession-based playing style.

"I’m happy in general with all of them," he said in Seagrave. "First of all because they are willing to learn and have an open mind to see new things. This is the most important thing. The way they grow and the way they are getting better game by game, day after day, in the training sessions, I’m very happy about this.

"I know that most of the time, the only thing we judge are the results. We need to judge and analyse more things. In my case, I judge, for sure, the results because it’s important, but also the way we’re playing and improving.

"I think one of the last games, against Norwich, we were the youngest first XI in the last 10 years for Leicester. It’s something important, we need to realise that we’re in a moment where we’re trying to change things, in terms of a squad refresh. There’s many good things."

It is indeed a young squad, but one sprinkled with age and experience. Maresca values those players and their contributions, highlighting the guidance they can provide. Seeing the squad improve week on week is a particular source of pride.

"When you make some changes, you need to refresh with new players," the former Manchester City assistant manager added. "Most of the times, they are a young profile. At the same time, we need players with the right experience like Jamie [Vardy], Marc [Albrighton], Conor [Coady] and Jannik [Vestergaard]. All of them are players with experience. 

"We are in the right position now. There are many, many, many things that we need to improve, but at the same time, we are quite happy with where we are now.

"Last night, a big manager, a big friend, said to me: ‘The more you win, the closer the defeat’. All I can say is that we are doing quite well, in terms of the way we’re playing and the results, but we cannot lose the focus and the reality that every game is difficult. Every game, you can lose or draw or win.

"After 10 games, we are improving, and this is the most important thing for me."

'It's an important competition'

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Jürgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp's Reds are second in the Premier League.

City are determined to win promotion this season, but also to progress in cup competitions. Maresca hopes playing at Anfield - one of the world's most famous sporting venues - can inspire his players to a memorable result on Merseyside.

"It'll be a nice game because of the opponent," the Italian explained. "We cannot compare to the rest of the games, it’s a completely different game.

"They have some new players, but for transition and off the ball, they are probably the best team in the world over the last five or six or seven years. Now, even if they have some new players, they just need time to adapt and they will go again. 

"It’s an important competition, for sure. The game is a good game against Liverpool away at Anfield. It’s a good environment. At the same time, we have many games, playing every three days. After Liverpool, again we go with three games in one week.

"We’ll try to finish in the right way before the international break."

'The beautiful part of my job'

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Enzo Maresca

Enzo Maresca has enjoyed a successful start to life as Leicester City Manager.

Maresca is not allowing Leicester's encouraging start to go to anyone's head. There is much work to be done, but the ex-Juventus, Fiorentina and Sevilla midfielder is nonetheless enjoying the nature of his work at the Club.

"Every game is a challenge," he added. "All the teams are different. When we’re working, we can learn and improve. The way we try to build against one team, probably in the next game, we need to add or modify one thing.

"In one game, we can do something better. At the end, everything is dynamic. It’s not just ‘do this’ and then ‘stop’. We can add to it. This is the beautiful part of my job."

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