Michael Appleton

Appleton: Cup Win Gives Us Belief

Caretaker manager Michael Appleton hailed a confidence-boosting 3-1 victory over Leeds United at King Power Stadium to send Leicester City into the Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals.
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- Leicester City progress to the Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals with a 3-1 win over Leeds United at King Power Stadium
- After Pablo Hernandez gave Leeds the lead, goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez ensured City’s progress
- It was City’s second victory in a week after a 2-1 success over Swansea City on Saturday afternoon
- Michael Appleton says the performance has given the team added belief going into a Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday

After going 1-0 down in the first half to an unstoppable 20-yard strike from Leeds United’s Pablo Hernandez, it took just four minutes for City striker Kelechi Iheanacho to produce a composed finish to level matters on the half hour.

The Foxes then went through the gears with Demarai Gray rattling the crossbar but it wasn’t until the 71st minute that Islam Slimani finished off a brilliant move involving Vicente Iborra and Iheanacho to edge City in-front.

Substitute Riyad Mahrez then rounded off the victory with a fine individual strike coming inside off the right flank, ensuring City’s progress into the quarter-finals of the competition and a second win in a week.

“I think the performance was obviously very good,” reflected Appleton. “I think when it comes to cup competitions, it’s about getting through to the next round – the performance is a little bit of a bonus.

“On the back of the performance we had at Swansea at the weekend with a different group of players, it gives you a lot of belief.

“We thought Leeds would make quite a few changes. They’ve got a talented squad and they’re up near the top of the Championship for a reason.”

Slimani’s goal was his fourth in three Carabao Cup fixtures this season while Iheanacho’s was his first for the Club, and Appleton was pleased to see him improve as the game went on.

He added: “We tried to stay in a positive frame of mind and prepare properly. I think the last two performances [against Swansea and Leeds] suggest that that has been the case.

“With Kelechi [Iheanacho], he picked up an injury before the season started, which obviously made things difficult. You could tell once he scored the goal tonight that he grew in confidence and he played a massive part in the second goal tonight, which was good.”

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