By Johnny Edward:
Leicester City manager Claude Puel has hailed the impact of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi in his team’s comeback draw at Brighton and Hove Albion in an English Premier League game on Saturday, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Both Super Eagles players, along with Jamie Vardy, were instrumental to the Foxes earning a point at the Amex Stadium after Glenn Murray had given Brighton the lead on his 100th Premier League appearance, heading Anthony Knockaert’s corner into the net after 15 minutes.
Puel named Ndidi on the substitute’s bench, for the first time in the midfielder’s three seasons in Leicester City, but subbed on the Nigeria international in the 32nd minutes of the game for Vincent Iborra who sustained an injury to shore up the Foxes’ midfield after James Maddison was dismissed through second yellow card for simulation.
He also introduced Iheanacho with 20 minutes left to play for Shinji Okazaki, and the 22-year-old earned his side a penalty nine minutes later which Vardy converted.
“I am proud of our collective reaction, our game in the second half,” Puel told Leicester City Mercury.
“We played like 11 men in the second half. It was a fantastic feeling to come back into the game in this bad situation, after all the difficulties in the second half, the sending off and the goal conceded from a set piece. We deserved a point.”l
“All the players worked to change the game. Jamie scored the penalty and he brought this fighting spirit, but I was also happy with Iheanacho and Ndidi – all the squad, they gave their best to come back into the game.
“We showed a strong mentality with just ten men and quality with the ball. I think we deserved the win in the end because we dominated a lot of the second half. I appreciated a lot our collective reaction.”
Puel also warns his players to adjust their attitude to avoid red cards following James Maddison’s sending off for two bookings inside three first half minutes.
It was Leicester City’s fourth red card of the season, and while Puel believes his players have been unlucky on occasions, he also says they must be smarter when on a yellow.
“It is our fourth sending off. That is a lot and we have to manage better our attitude and our games,” Puel said.
“Sometimes it is our fault and other times I think it is a bad decision. Sometimes yellow cards for Wes Morgan (who has been sent off twice this season) were not good.”
“For me they were bad decisions, but we have to manage better when we have a yellow card and manage better our tackles and desire without taking another yellow card because after it is always difficult for the team.
“We can prevent this bad situation and correct some aspects, but you saw we had fantastic strength in the team.
“It is not the first time we have faced difficulties and come back into a game. It is encouraging for the future.
“It was difficult of course to accept two yellow cards in three minutes and the sending off put us in difficulties, but I have to review the replay about the first and second yellow cards, and then we discuss with Maddie.
“Maddison, perhaps he deserved a sending off, but I will watch the replay.”