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Set-piece weakness frustrates Puel

While Claude Puel rued Leicester's weakness at set pieces, Harry Maguire insisted the players have no hard feelings towards Riyad Mahrez.

NEWS
04 Feb 2018, 00:12 IST
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claudepuel-cropped
Leicester City manager Claude Puel

Claude Puel vowed Leicester City would focus on defending set pieces and being stronger in the tackle after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Swansea City.

 

After Jamie Vardy gave Leicester the lead part-way through an impressive first-half performance, Puel saw his charges pegged back by Carlos Carvalhal's revitalised Swansea, who secured a draw that extends their unbeaten run to seven games.

Federico Fernandez's equaliser came from a Swansea corner, the defender rising above a crowd of Leicester players to power a downwards header that beat Kasper Schmeichel.

Puel was disappointed while giving Swansea credit, telling reporters: "Frustration is the right word.

"We played well against a tough team that made it difficult to find space, but we needed to score more [in the] first half. Swansea had one chance and they scored.

"It's harsh on my players because we deserved more. Swansea played with quality second half. We finished strongly, but without the result at the end. It feels like we lost two points.

"It's a pity to concede another goal from a set play. We have to work to correct this, to be stronger in our duels."

The talking point around King Power Stadium in the build-up to the game was Riyad Mahrez handing in a transfer request but failing to secure a move away from the club before the end of the transfer window.

The Algeria international missed four days of training and was left out of Puel's matchday squad but Foxes defender Harry Maguire stressed there would be no animosity towards the team's star player.

"The boys will welcome Riyad back and he's no doubt one of our best players," Maguire told BBC Sport.

"It's for him, his agent and the club to deal with, but we would welcome him back."

Swansea boss Carvalhal, meanwhile, gave a negative assessment of an injury to Leroy Fer, who was taken off on a stretcher before half-time.

"I don't know but at first view it looks serious," he said. "We think it's his Achilles and not something light but let's see [on Sunday] or the next 48 hours. We'll analyse him."

Fer's replacement Tom Carroll was credited for his role in Swansea's fightback.

"I must say Carroll did very well," said Carvalhal. "The level of Carroll improved the team, he gave us energy and played very well on the ball.

"He improved the dynamic. Part of what we achieved in the second half was with the participation of Carroll.

"It was unlucky for Fer, but a lucky situation for Carroll, who came into the side and performed very well."

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