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Ricardo plans Leicester City stay – FansFC.com

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Football.co.ukRicardo plans Leicester City stayFansFC.comThe Portuguese goalkeeper joined the Championship earlier this window upon his departure from Real Betis, and he is relishing working for Sven Goran Eriksson. Indeed, the chance to link up with t…

Leicester City owners have Premier League vision – BBC News

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Leicester City owners have Premier League visionBBC NewsLeicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt "Top" Raksriaksorn talks to Midlands Late Kick Off's Natalie Jackson about his Premier League dream for the Foxes. Six wins in seven have taken …

Blue Army column: Easy-peasy as Leicester City leave Derby green with envy – Leicester Mercury

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Blue Army column: Easy-peasy as Leicester City leave Derby green with envyLeicester MercuryAs the jubilant Blue Army funnelled out of Pride Park chanting "we are going up", there could have hardly been a more contrasting scene a few hundred y…

Leicester City,Premier League – Leicester Mercury

Monday, February 14th, 2011

SkySports (blog)

Under-fire Nigel Clough standing firm despite defeat by Leicester City

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Derby County boss Nigel Clough denied he was set to quit after Leicester City handed his side their ninth defeat in 12 games.

City’s superb victory at Pride Park sparked more angry demonstrations by some Rams fans, which were directed at the club’s American owners.

Clough knows he is also under pressure to stop his side’s alarming slide down the Championship table, but he rejected rumours he was about to walk away.

“There are a lot of rumours around at the moment,” he said after City’s 2-0 victory.

“I haven’t resigned and I haven’t spoken to anybody but the players and the good gentlemen from the media in the past 35 or 40 minutes so, if it has been done (his sacking), I haven’t been told about it.

“We are trying, (to bring players in), we have been close for a few weeks, there have been one or two times when we have been told we can have players and it’s not quite materialised.

“Leicester agreed to give us Martyn Waghorn but then changed their minds.

“We will keep trying. It’s not a financial issue at the moment, there is money there to bring players in, it’s just getting clubs to agree to it.

“We think we can survive. We’ve got enough in the dressing room and we are not done yet, we will let you know when we are rather than the rumours.”

Clough admitted his side were second best against Sven-Goran Eriksson’s in-form City side, and he conceded that the goals from Yakubu and Andy King were top-quality strikes.

“We take responsibility for the first half because we set up first and foremost to stop Leicester,” said Clough.

“It turned out we were far too negative and too tentative. Probably the formation – combined with the tension and nervousness around the place – was not the best way to go. The timing of the second goal knocked the stuffing out of us and left us too much to do in the second half, despite the improvement.

“The second goal, they were probably just seeing the game through to half-time but we were restless and we wanted to close down, and we weren’t close enough to them. They cut us to ribbons and walked through us.

“If it had been just 1-0 at half-time, anything could have happened in the second half.

“But Leicester are a quality side and they scored two excellent goals, and then shut up shop.”

Ricardo is so happy to be playing again

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Debutant goalkeeper Ricardo says he has escaped the “worst time of his career” to jump aboard the Leicester City promotion express.

The 34-year-old former Portugal goalkeeper made a winning debut – and kept a clean-sheet – in City’s 2-0 Championship win at Derby County on Saturday.

Ricardo was delighted to be playing again and, after the game, said he had been frozen out at Spanish club Real Betis for reasons he said had nothing to do with football.

He added: “It was the worst time of my career.”

Ricardo declined to elaborate but Betis allowed him to terminate his contract last month after he was not given a squad number.

He has signed a short-term contract at City until the end of the season and said: “What happened is in the past now and it is all about the future.” Ricardo also revealed he could have moved to England well before his Spanish dream turned sour.

“It’s a dream to be playing in England,” he said. “I had a chance to play here before. I won’t say which club, but it was a Premier League club. I discussed it with my family but we decided to stay in Spain.”

Ricardo, capped 79 times by his country, was preferred to Chris Weale in a move which surprised some City fans.

He said: “I felt the same at the other club and it’s not easy, but Chris is a great keeper and we are both here to help.

“I now have to work hard every day to keep my place in the team.

“We defended very well and we also played some beautiful football. We also showed we could fight when we had to. I am very pleased. It was my first game for a long time and it was a victory.”

Ricardo praised the quality of both the City goals, the first from Yakubu and the second from Andy King.

“The one from Yakubu was unbelievable, you saw his movement was so quick,” he added.

Comment: Leicester City have a Premier League look

Monday, February 14th, 2011

On and off the field, Leicester City look ready, willing and able to make their long-awaited return to the Premier League.

Backed to the hilt by the club’s new owners, Asia Football Investments, manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has put together a high-quality squad that the majority of City’s Championship rivals can only envy.

If the season had started four months ago when Eriksson took over, City would be in the top two.

The comfortable 2-0 victory against Derby County on Saturday extended City’s unbeaten run to seven matches, and gave Sven the impressive record of 12 wins and four draws from his 21 Championship games in charge.

The clash at Pride Park highlighted the dramatic contrast in fortunes between the two East Midland rivals.

Derby, after a fine start to the season, have lost nine of their last 12 games. City, after a dreadful start, have won six of their last seven.

Unrest and protests are the order of the day at Derby while the Blue Army are basking in the warm glow of life under Sven, and the very real prospect of a place in the promotion play-offs.

Rarely has there been such a wide gulf in class between the two sides as there was in this game.

Derby hardly had a touch of the ball in a first half that City dominated, and the two-goal lead provided by Yakubu’s brilliant volley and Andy King’s sublime finish to complete a wonderful passage of possession football was no more than Sven’s men deserved. And, when they were called upon to defend rather more in the second half, they did that just as competently.

Ben Mee, on loan from Manchester City, was again in magnificent form alongside Sol Bamba in central defence. If there were any doubts about Mee after he conceded a first-minute penalty on his debut against Millwall, there can be none now.

His three performances since – against Sheffield United, Barnsley and Derby – have been outstanding.

Seven of Saturday’s starting line-up were Sven’s signings. When latest recruit, Jeffrey Bruma from Chelsea, went on as a late substitute, it made eight. Some critics will argue however, that five of the signings are only on loan and may not be here next season. They are missing the point. Sven, and the owners, are looking to reach the Premier League as soon as possible, whatever it takes.

If that means bringing in quality players like Yakubu on loan, so be it.

And, if City do win promotion this season, who is to say that the likes of Yakubu, Mee and Kyle Naughton will not be signed on permanent deals. It will much harder, one suspects, to persuade Chelsea to part with the highly-rated Bruma and Patrick van Aanholt, but you never know.

Sven has already proved he can attract top players to the club, even in the Championship. How much greater would the attraction be if City are in the Premier League?

With vice-chairman Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn boldly declaring that a top-10 place will be the target once City get into the Premier League, it does not sound as though the purse strings will be tightened in any way.

These are exciting times for City and the fans.

There is still a long way to go and some massive games to come. But there is little doubt that the teams ahead of City in the table will be looking over their shoulder with a good deal of apprehension.

Leicester City aim to boost fans’ link

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Leicester City have announced a new partnership, designed to improve the club’s links with supporters, with a Leicester-based communications agency.

City have extended their partnership with Soar Media, who have worked with the club for the last 18 months. The new deal will see the company take on responsibility for the public relations of City chairman Vichai Raksriaksorn, vice-chairman Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn and manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. “We are very pleased to be working with Soar Media,” said Aiyawatt.

“The support and attention to detail they have provided since we joined the club has been superb.

“These are exciting times for Leicester City, as we strengthen our resources both on and off the field and look to communicate and engage further with our fantastic supporters as part of our commitment to excellence.”

Soar Media were named as the club’s official communications partner at the start of the current season, but this new deal extends the agreement until February, 2012.

“I am impressed with Soar Media’s knowledge of the PR industry and their established relationships with the local and national media,” said Eriksson.

“I look forward to working with them, alongside the club’s internal media and marketing team and hope we will all enjoy success together.”

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