Puel explains decision to bring Mahrez back v Man City

Date published: Sunday 11th February 2018 9:15

Claude Puel insisted neither he nor any of the Leicester squad have a problem with Riyad Mahrez after the playmaker came off the bench during the 5-1 defeat by Manchester City.

Mahrez only returned to training on Friday after a self-imposed 10-day absence following the blocking by Leicester of a move to Manchester City, during which he missed games against Everton and Swansea.

Puel had said on Thursday that Mahrez would not play at the Etihad Stadium but named him on the bench and brought him on with nearly half an hour to play, although it was to no avail as the Foxes were heavily beaten – although Jamie Vardy was our early winner.

Mahrez released a statement on Friday saying assumptions that had been made about his absence were untrue and that he would give his all for Leicester when called upon.

Puel said: “He maintained a good level, a good fitness, alone and it was important he came back quick. We have lost time and now it’s important to look forwards.

“The transfer window is finished and he put (things) right (with what) he said. Of course we are stronger with our best player.

“He made perhaps a mistake. Riyad is a valuable player for the team, other players have welcomed Riyad with a good feeling. No problem with Riyad, no problem with other players. We are a squad and now it’s important to move forward together.”

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