MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 07:35:21

Chris Wood expecting an emotional occasion at Leicester on Saturday

Chris Wood expecting an emotional occasion at Leicester on Saturday
© SilverHub
Burnley striker Wood spent two years at Leicester under owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Former Leicester striker Chris Wood is expecting a day “filled with emotion” when he and his Burnley team-mates travel to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The Clarets are the opposition for Leicester’s first home match since the tragic helicopter crash two weeks ago that killed owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the four other people on board.

Wood spent two years at Leicester between 2013 and 2015, and he said: “It’s going to be a day filled with emotion.

“Khun Vichai was a great, respected person both at the club and in Leicester in general. There’s going to be a lot of emotion around the game, so we’re going to have to deal with that, pay our respects but then we have to be ready.

“It definitely hit me. He was a man who talked to everybody, he got to know everybody and he was a proper family man. He’d do anything for you. It did hit home, someone so close, so it will be nice to pay my respects when I’m there.

“He was just a normal bloke to us. When we had dinner as a team, days out, afternoons out and things like that, he was just a down-to-earth guy and that’s how everyone will remember him because he was a great guy.”

Wood still has friends at Leicester and has been in touch to offer his condolences.

He said: “I’ve passed on regards to a couple of the guys that I was close to. It’s a tough time for them, especially the boys that I knew, who had already been there a few years, so they knew the owner very well. They’ve had a tough week after it. They’re all okay now. They’re building towards it (the game).

“(Srivaddhanaprabha) started a huge legacy at Leicester and I know Top (son Aiyawatt) will keep that going and he’d like to fulfil his dad’s dreams on that. As a family I have the utmost respect for them.”

Leicester are planning a number of tributes ahead of the game and Burnley chairman Mike Garlick will lay a wreath on the pitch.

Clarets manager Sean Dyche and his coaching staff attended Leicester’s game against West Ham but left before the accident occurred.

Dyche said: “All we’ve done is made the players aware we’ll do everything we can to play our part if needed with the respect that’s deserved.

“The people at Leicester have got enough on their plates but I spoke, just via text, to (director of football) Jon Rudkin, someone I class as a friend in football, and said if there’s anything we can do at all, then we’ll certainly do that.

“It’s kind of touched everyone. I think the connection the owner and his family have with the club and the way they’ve helped develop the club, and very authentically it seems to me. A real, real shocking thing to happen.”

Dyche admits he is not sure how to prepare his players for the game or how both sides will react.

“It’s certainly something I don’t think many will have experienced before,” he said. “I had one (occasion) similar but different when (Nottingham Forest owner) Nigel Doughty passed and we were at Watford and we played Forest the next game.

“It’s an odd thing. I don’t think you can get them ready for it other than the professional side, which everyone will respect and that’s the whistle blows and we have got to play the game.”

Burnley will be without defender Ben Gibson, who has undergone a second hernia operation, while James Tarkowski was seeing a specialist about his ongoing groin issue on Thursday and may also need surgery.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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