Shakespeare tells Leicester to forget Sevilla win, focus on West Ham
(Reuters) - Leicester City must cast aside their memorable Champions League triumph against Sevilla and turn their attentions on Saturday's Premier League trip to West Ham United, manager Craig Shakespeare said on Thursday.
Leicester, who are 15th in the league, progressed to the quarter-finals in their debut Champions League campaign after beating Spanish side Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate.
The league champions face 11th-placed West Ham with the hopes of securing three consecutive league wins for the first time this season.
"We have to try and look forward now. The players are aware of that. We spoke about it after Sevilla. Our focus is West Ham," Shakespeare told reporters.
"Everything has been about West Ham. The priority is to win every game and, with West Ham being next, that's the priority. Results will always have an impact on the atmosphere, one step at a time. We have a big challenge ahead in the Premier League."
Shakespeare also defended Jamie Vardy after Sevilla midfielder Samir Nasri branded the striker a "cheat" after the Frenchman was sent off for squaring up to the Leicester forward and bumping foreheads in Tuesday's Champions League clash.
"Jamie's not a cheat. Never has been and never will be," Shakespeare said. "Jamie responded well to the comment and we have to put it to bed. The referee made a decision and we have to move on."
Midfielder Nampalys Mendy, who was left out of the Champions League match through a knee problem, is on the road to recovery but is a "50-50" for Saturday's game.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Gareth Jones)