KING: FOXES CAN MATCH ANY TEAM

Mid­fielder rel­ish­ing chal­lenge of Leeds

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Rob Dermont

ANDY King claims there will be no hang­over from last sea­son’s play­off dis­may for Le­ices­ter – and he vowed to put down an early marker against pro­mo­tion chal­lengers Leeds to­day.

The Foxes’ pro­mo­tion hopes were downed in dra­matic fash­ion when Troy Deeney’s in­jury time strike, sec­onds af­ter An­thony Knock­aert’s missed penalty, gave Wat­ford a 3-2 semi-fi­nal ag­gre­gate win.

This sea­son they got un­der­way with a 2-1 vic­tory away at Mid­dles­brough on the open­ing day, and fol­lowed that up in mid­week by dis­pos­ing of League Two Wy­combe 2-1 in the League Cup.

Their first match at the King Power Sta­dium sees Brian McDer­mott’s Leeds pitch up with a point to prove hav­ing laboured their way to a 13th-place fin­ish last year.

Sys­tem

But mid­fielder King, who was linked with a move to close ri­vals Not­ting­ham For­est in the sum­mer, in­sists past fail­ures will be for­got­ten in both camps.

“In football you have to put dis­ap­point­ment be­hind you, es­pe­cially in this league when there are games ev­ery Satur­day and Tues­day,” he said.

“We’ve had the whole sum­mer to try and get over that. Now the games are com­ing again, we’ve just got to con­cen­trate on those and make sure it doesn’t hap­pen this sea­son.

“Games against Leeds are al­ways tough. We know what they’re all about and I’m sure they’ll have done their home­work on us and the new sys­tem (5-3-2) if we de­cide to play that way again, so it’ll be a good game and one we’re look­ing for­ward to, es­pe­cially play­ing in our first home game of the sea­son.

“Brian McDer­mott got pro­moted with Read­ing and the way they played is sim­i­lar: in your face, 4-42 and pres­sure at the front, so I’m sure Leeds will be try­ing to adopt the same sort of sys­tem and it’s one we’ll have to be ready for.

“I think it’s one of those sea­sons where there seems to be about 12 teams think­ing that they maybe should be in the top two or the top six, but McDer­mott is an ex­pe­ri­enced man­ager and I’m sure he’ll be able to han­dle that.”

Le­ices­ter boss Nigel Pear­son has a fully fit squad to choose from with defender Zak Whit­bread re­cov­er­ing from a head in­jury suf­fered against Mid­dles- brough and mid­fielder Ben Mar­shall back in con­tention af­ter an ill­ness.

The two sides played out a 1-1 draw the last time they met in the league at the King Power Sta­dium and, while much has changed over the sum­mer, King is rel­ish­ing the chal­lenge of play­ing his part in the Foxes engine room.

“I thought the sec­ond half against Mid­dles­brough was a re­ally pos­i­tive per­for­mance,” he added.

“I thought we played re­ally well in the sec­ond half, but the first half was poor.

“If we can play well in the first half on Sun­day then I’m sure the 90 min­utes will be good and we’ll be a match for any team in the league.

“You just play it as it comes. We’re all ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers and we’ve played a lot of games – you just have to read the sit­u­a­tion as it arises and go from there.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

CUP CHEER: David Nu­gent cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing from the spot against Wy­combe with Andy King, right

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