Shakespeare’s words of praise for Schmeichel
LONDON: Craig Shakespeare believes Kasper Schmeichel must be viewed as one of the game’s top goalkeepers after his saves enabled Leicester City to record a fourth successive victory.
First-half goals by Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy gave the champions a 3-2 win at West Ham United on Saturday, easing the relegation fears that led to manager Claudio Ranieri’s sacking last month.
But West Ham hit back through Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew and Leicester needed Schmeichel to make two high-quality saves from Andy Carroll before they could celebrate another win.
“He is in the best form I’ve seen since I’ve been here, so I don’t see why not,” said S h a k espeare when asked whether Schmeichel — son of Manchester United goalkeeping great Peter — deserved to be bracketed alongside the Premier League’s star shot-stoppers.
“All goalkeepers are important, but to bring off those crucial saves was vitally important.”
The game at London Stadium was Leicester’s first since they saw off Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday to set up a lasteight tie with Atletico Madrid.
Shakespeare has known nothing but success since he stepped up from assistant manager to replace Ranieri, initially in a caretaker capacity, but he said it was the result of a simple recipe.
“There’s no secret,” he said. “Hard work, endeavour, resilience — we showed all of them today, aligned with some good football.
“We scored the goals at the right time. They gave us a foothold in the game, but we know that hard work is paramount to success and we have to keep on doing that.
“We spoke about the importance of starting brightly and playing on the front foot if we could, very similar to the other night, but we had to show real resilience in the second half.” AFP