Foxes boss satisfied, Sam hails ‘fantastic point’

Date published: Saturday 15th April 2017 5:11

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare insisted he was satisfied with a point despite watching his team squander a two-goal lead when they drew 2-2 at Crystal Palace.

He also dismissed suggestions they became distracted by the prospect of Tuesday’s Champions League fixture against Atletico Madrid.

Leicester appeared comfortable when Jamie Vardy’s second-half finish doubled the advantage built by Robert Huth’s early header.

Unconvincing defending then led to Yohan Cabaye scoring Palace’s first goal, before Christian Benteke headed the hosts level having leapt highest when heavily leaning on Yohan Benalouane.

Twelth-placed Leicester next host Atletico hoping to overcome a one-goal deficit from the first leg of their European quarter-final, but when asked if they had become distracted after going two up, Shakespeare responded: “No.

“There is a tinge of disappointment, especially when you go two up away from home. (But) we should be pleased with a point, probably.

“We could have seen it out if we’d stayed in the lead a bit longer, but they asked a lot of questions of us with their aerial threat.”

Benalouane was substituted as a precaution after suffering with cramp, but with Wes Morgan also a doubt and Huth suspended for Tuesday’s fixture, Shakespeare dismissed concerns their defensive options are thin.

“I’m assured it was just cramp,” said the 53-year-old. “Cramp can turn into a pull, so it was just a precaution. He’s walking at the moment. We’ll get it looked at. They’re in for a recovery session and we’ll assess it then.

“It looked better (on Friday for Morgan). He trained with the group for the whole session. I hope he joins in with the rest of the group (on Sunday).

“It’s a big ask for him because it’s a difficult injury to get over, in terms of the power and spring for a centre-back. But we’ll give him every opportunity and, with the medical staff, we’ll see what their feelings are and we’ll make a decision.”

The point took Palace, who have five wins and a draw from their past seven games, up to 15th in the Premier League and seven points clear of the bottom three.

They had looked at severe risk of relegation but manager Sam Allardyce – who recruited Shakespeare to his coaching team while England manager – has inspired such an improvement that survival looks a near certainty.

“When you finish a game with a point having been 2-0 down, you have to be incredibly satisfied,” said Allardyce.

“It kept our run going, showing just how good we are at the moment. The mental side showed by coming back to get back to 2-2.

“I’m pleased with Benteke, with his game coming on and the goals coming back. Cabaye, too. We are a threat. We can score goals. It’s a fantastic point.

“(Leicester) have a chance (against Atletico). They’re playing very well at the moment. They turned Sevilla over.”

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