Shake­speare’s words of praise for Sch­me­ichel

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

Kasper Sch­me­ichel

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