Craig Shakespeare expects “fringe players” Islam Slimani and Demarai Gray to “carry on” with Leicester following their goalscoring exploits in a 4-1 Carabao Cup win at Sheffield United.
Slimani, who escaped dismissal when going in late on Jake Wright on the stroke of half-time, further angered the home fans by scoring Leicester’s second and third goals at the near post.
Later, the Algeria international thought he had gone one better by scoring a hat-trick but the flag denied him.
England Under-21 winger Gray – linked with Bournemouth, Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham since the start of 2017 – turned his first-half promise into a classy 52nd-minute opener while Ahmed Musa cemented the outcome at the death.
Boss Shakespeare was impressed by the trio and, despite reports that any number of the three could depart the King Power Stadium before the end of the month, he is keen to retain bodies.
He said: “It was important to give the fringe players, or those who haven’t played, some game time and when you do that you hope they’ll respond in the right way.
“I thought the team responded really well.
“They’re part of the squad and they carry on.
“We’ll need everyone as we go along because it’s a tough old season in the Premier League and whether it’s a loss of form, a change of tactics or injuries, you have all that to contend with.”