April 30, 2018 / 9:43 AM / a month ago

Soccer: Puel says players appear distracted as Leicester slump continues

(Reuters) - Leicester City manager Claude Puel has said his players have looked distracted after a string of disappointing results left the Frenchman’s future uncertain at the King Power Stadium.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Leicester City- Selhurst Park, London, Britain - April 28, 2018 Leicester City manager Claude Puel before the match Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Leicester sit ninth in the Premier League but a 5-0 thrashing at Crystal Palace on Saturday meant Puel has only four wins in his past 18 league games.

Three defeats and a draw in last four matches have dampened the mood of the Leicester supporters, with a top-seven finish and Europa League qualification now out of reach.

“I took over this club in a difficult situation, 14th in the table,” Puel told British media.

“I try to give more opportunities to players to give a good response. But, at the end of the season, of course we have some difficulties to finish with a good concentration, a good focus.

“I know it’s difficult and perhaps the players have the World Cup in their heads or different things. My only concern is my team and my squad. We deserved the last result and it is important to correct this.”

British media reported Puel could be sacked at the end of the campaign over his inability to lead the overhaul of first-team players in the transfer window but the manager has dismissed the speculation.

“I didn’t give a response on my future because it is speculation,” he added.

“It is just my feeling after this game is to have a good response in the next game, to work together, to be angry about the performance, the result, but to see my players give a good reaction.”

Leicester host 15th-placed West Ham United on Saturday and sixth-placed Arsenal four days later.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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