Full 90 Boosts De Laet
The Belgian right back was one of nine players to last the distance in City’s penultimate pre-season match, leaving only a friendly against Werder Bremen to decide who will take to the field for City’s opening game against Everton on 16 August.
Barclays Premier League football is something that De Laet has experienced before – most recently on loan from Manchester United at Norwich City in the 2011/12 season – but in those days the former Stoke City youngster was used as a centre back.
Now the 25-year-old is well and truly settled into a right back role with City that suits his game much better and he feels ready to show the Premier League what he can do.
Speaking exclusively to Foxes Player, De Laet said: “I do feel more confident at right back. That’s my game, I want to go forward and obviously all the right backs now in this day and age go forward and attack. That’s my game, and at centre back it held me back slightly. Now I’m confident that in my position I can do well.
“There’s cover for every position. So when you get these games you want to do well to impress the gaffer.
“It’s (the season) getting close now. Obviously these friendlies are good practice, but you want to get to the real stuff, so it’s getting close now. We’ve got one more home friendly and then it’s finally there – the start of the season.”
While the focus remains fixed on the opening day, De Laet certainly found the Rotherham fixture useful. The Millers made the Foxes work hard for their 3-1 win, and the City defender definitely seemed to be feeling the benefits afterwards.
He added: “As a group we needed 90 minutes with less than two weeks before the new season starts. Obviously we’ve got Werder Bremen at the weekend so it was much needed to get 90 minutes under our belts.
“It was tough. They were lively and their season starts at the weekend, so they were up for it. Playing against a Premier League team is always nice for a side. They’ve just been promoted to the Championship themselves so it was a good test for us and one we did well in.
“They changed it from a big man up front to two lively players, so that’s a challenge we’ll come across in the Premier League. It’s good practice for us and it’s good to get the win.”
New signing Leonardo Ulloa grabbed the headlines with a first half brace of goals during the match, and for De Laet, who assisted the striker’s second, he was thrilled to have a player of that quality on board.
“It’s great,” said De Laet. “You know he’ll be there and he’s a big lad so you know he’ll put his body on the line if he needs to. The first one was brilliant and he showed he can take on the man and finish. The second one he was in the right spot to finish in and he could have got more.”
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