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Claude Puel: Leicester still adapting from Premier League title glory

Claude Puel: Leicester still adapting from Premier League title glory
© Reuters
Leicester face Claudio Ranieri for the first time since he was sacked in 2017.

Leicester boss Claude Puel believes the club are still adapting from their title win ahead of their reunion with Claudio Ranieri.

The Foxes face Ranieri for the first time since he was sacked in February 2017 – nine months after winning a shock league crown with the club.

Leicester won the Premier League in 2016 despite odds of 5,000-1 with Ranieri claiming his first top league title.

But Puel feels the Foxes were caught out in the aftermath of their success.

"It was a fantastic job from the team, staff and all the club," he said.

"It came right because all the things were in the right place. It was spirit, a journey.

"I had experience too when I was managing Lille, we went from 14th one season, and the season after, with the same squad and little experience, we finished second behind Lyon.

"Then we played in the Champions League with Manchester United. We made a fantastic journey over two or three seasons.

"The most difficult thing for me was to follow, continue in this way. It's something we could not prepare for.

"I think Leicester could not prepare for what followed next. It was not normal to win the title like this.

"Now it's my job to put in place the structure, step by step, the squad is improving and finding again the possibility to compete with the good clubs.

"Once is a success, afterwards it's difficult for people because they think it's easy to win like that.

"No, it's a lot of work to prepare, the feeling for Leicester was fantastic, but afterwards it's very difficult to manage that situation

"No-one is prepared for what follows."

And the Frenchman believes expectation levels are still higher at the King Power Stadium because of their 2016 victory.

"Yes, of course," he said. "Because a lot of people think it's easy to perform and win the title, to play at the top of the table.

"I believe in strong work, structure and quality to improve the club and put in place a project.

"I want to develop all of the club and play with consistency. That is a good project."

Ranieri returned to the Premier League for a third spell last month when he replaced Slavisa Jokanovic at Fulham.

He also managed Chelsea between 2000 and 2004 and has earned admiration from Puel.

"He knows the situation in the Premier League, he knows the difficulties. Claudio is a true gentleman," said Puel.

"He has a lot of experience at other clubs, with different players, the culture.

"It's incredible he continues in this way – like a drug.

"Because he likes this, I don't know if I'll be managing at his age – but it is an example for a lot of other managers."


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Claudio Ranieri poses with his manager of the month award for March 2016
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Claudio Ranieri's Leicester career in pictures
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Everton167542217526
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
13Watford166281822-420
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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