Dean Smith ‘doesn’t agree’ with fixture schedule but insists Leicester ‘will deal with it’

News Desk
Dean Smith is the new (temporary) manager of Leicester City

Dean Smith believes the Premier League fixture schedule puts extra pressure on Leicester City in the race for survival.

The Foxes play their next four games on Monday nights – starting with the visit of relegation rivals Everton on May 1.

They then go to Fulham, due to the King’s coronation, host Liverpool and travel to Newcastle while having to wait to see if other results go against them.

They slipped back into the Premier League’s bottom three this week and Smith feels the fixture run is not fair, with the Foxes already a point from safety.

“I’m not so sure that I agree with the scheduling when there’s a lot of big games being played and there’s a lot of teams who are involved in getting out of a relegation battle,” said the Leicester boss.

“To be playing after everybody isn’t right, personally, with the scheduling. It is what it is and we deal with that.

“I don’t believe you’ve got any choice in it, once broadcasters have picked which games they’re going to broadcast, you’re stuck with it unfortunately.

“It’s just a bit odd that we’re playing four Monday night games on the spin.

“It does (add pressure), because the table can look very different after some fixtures and you’re having to react to that, I suppose, in some games.

“We can’t do anything about that, all we can do is concentrate on ourselves and look to get wins, especially at home.”

Meanwhile, Kelechi Iheanacho faces a race to be fit for Leicester’s survival run-in.

The striker injured his groin in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Leeds and could miss the final five games.

Iheanacho has scored twice in Smith’s opening three matches and suffered the injury helping to set up Jamie Vardy’s leveller at Elland Road.

There is a hope he will recover in time to play a part in the battle to beat the drop, with the Foxes back in the bottom three ahead of the visit of Everton.

Smith said: “He’s not great, he’s got a tear in his adductor muscle. It’s significant enough. I’m not going to rule him out for the rest of the season but it will be tough to get him back. Hopefully we can.

“He’s disappointed, scored two goals and was putting in good performances. Like always, it gives opportunities for others.

“It’s a blow, he came on at half-time against Man City and did ever so well. He did well in the Wolves game, scored the penalty, and his all-round displays have been really good.”

Jonny Evans should return to training on Saturday but Ricardo Pereira remains out with a hamstring injury.

READ MORE: Big Weekend: Liverpool v Spurs, Emery’s Villa at Man Utd, Leeds’ six-pointer, Jamie Vardy