Leicester Mercury




THE bond between Leicester City teammates was one of the secrets of the team’s success, with Harry Winks declaring the club’s fringe players “just as important” as their leading stars, writes Jordan Blackwell.

While Winks was one of a handful of players who was in the team every week provided they were fit, others in Enzo Maresca’s squad had bit-part roles to play.

There were even those, like Danny Ward and Harry Souttar, who very rarely got any pitch-time.

But even among those who sometimes didn’t even make the bench, the support for their team-mates was there, and that camaraderi­e was integral to City winning the Championsh­ip and earning a return to the Premier League, Winks has said.

It could also be important next season when City are likely to be fighting for survival in the top flight.

With financial restrictio­ns potentiall­y limiting the business they can do in the transfer window, they will have to hope their team spirit counts for a few extra points.

“You could go through everybody, even the players who maybe haven’t played as many minutes, we’re a really tight-knit group,” said Winks, right.

“Those players that haven’t played as much have been just as important to the team as the ones who have played a lot. In a long 40-odd game season I can’t stress how important it is to have good people and such a good squad – and we’ve got that in abundance.

“We’ve got top people in the club, that’s why we’ve had such a great season.

“I’ve enjoyed the team bond with everybody, all the lads get on.

“And the style of play the manager wants is just perfect for me. I love the way we play.

“Personally it’s been my best season as a player, without doubt. I’ve loved every minute of it.

“I love the fans as well, the way they’ve taken to me and I’ve taken to them.

“It’s been a great year and a great bond. I hope that continues for next season.”

The squad’s togetherne­ss was shown throughout the season and beyond, not least in the players-only team meeting called to correct their form in April, and with the celebrator­y group trip to Monte Carlo, courtesy of the chairman.


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