The Foxes have to change to thrive, de­clares Fletcher

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

BY OLIVER TODD / Dar­ren Fletcher has told Le­ices­ter City they will find it “vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble” to com­pete in the Premier League un­less they learn to jug­gle their do­mes­tic and Euro­pean com­mit­ments.

The cham­pi­ons crashed to a 2-1 de­feat by West Bromwich Al­bion on Sunday af­ter a Cham­pi­ons League draw in Copen­hagen to leave them­selves just two points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Fletcher, who played the full 90 min­utes of West Brom’s win, knows all about keep­ing on track at home and in Europe from his time at Manch­ester United and knows Le­ices­ter must work out when to save their legs.

“It’s dif­fi­cult when you add Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball,” Fletcher said. “You’re the cham­pi­ons and the onus is on you. All th­ese com­bi­na­tions are re­ally tough and I’ve been there my­self.

“They’ve come back from Copen­hagen and got to go again in the Premier League against a slightly fresher team. It’s very tough, a new ex­pe­ri­ence, one they will have to get used to.

“They will be fine, they’re a tal­ented team and bal­anc­ing both was al­ways go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult sea­son.

“It’s vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to play the same XI week in week out with Cham­pi­ons League travel and in the Premier League where the game is so quick and fe­ro­cious you need that fresh legs.”

Clau­dio Ranieri started with six of the same play­ers from the Copen­hagen XI on Sunday, in­clud­ing drop­ping Jamie Vardy to the bench.

The Eng­land striker is with­out a goal in 13 games for club and coun­try but Fletcher says he and his team-mates re­mained wary when he came on. “He is al­ways that threat for the bench, af­ter he came on he gave them a spark,” the West Brom mid­fielder said.

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