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Shakespeare confident of keeping Leicester's finest

Shakespeare hopes Mahrez will stay at Leicester Credit: PA

Confident Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare believes the Foxes can hold onto their stars without European football.

The 53-year-old insists his squad are happy at the King Power Stadium despite their reign as champions coming to an end.

Leicester were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by Atletico Madrid last week and are 15th in the Premier League ahead of Wednesday's trip to Arsenal.

There will be no European run next season but Shakespeare feels the players, including Riyad Mahrez, Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Drinkwater, will stay.

We have said before we don't want to be a selling club. All the players are happy here. They are a very unique group, we have created something here which is quite special, so they have said they are quite happy.

It's again one of those things. I have no problems with players being ambitious but they are at a good club here and get looked after well. I'm sure the time will come to sit down.

We will probably have agents knocking on the door but we've said before we don't want to be a selling club and we want to add to that.

– Craig Shakespeare

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Shakespeare treating every Foxes game as a cup final

Craig Shakespeare has made a great start as Leicester boss Credit: PA

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare admits he is in esteemed company as he continues to plot the champions' survival bid.

The Foxes manager became the first British boss to win his first four games in the Premier League on Saturday.

Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy scored as Leicester eased to a 2-0 win over Stoke.

Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink and Pep Guardiola are the only managers to achieve the feat before Shakespeare.

All four have also won the Champions League and with Leicester travelling to Atletico Madrid in their quarter-final first leg tie next week, Shakespeare could still join them in securing European glory - but he isn't getting carried away just yet.

No pressure there then!

But those are managers that personally I've looked up to in terms of what they've done. If I could do anything like them, then wow, that would be a great achievement.

I'm just looking at it as we had two home games from which we're trying to get maximum points.

We got them from Stoke and now have to do it against Sunderland. I'm not looking too far ahead in terms of where we can finish. I'm just making sure there's no complacency and we stay focused for the next game.

We want to make sure that not only are we safe but that we climb up the league and the only way to do that is to approach every game as if it's a cup final but in a way that shows we know the importance of it.

– Craig Shakespeare

Leicester boss: No secret to recovery, just hard work

Shakespeare was quick to praise Schmeichel for saving Leicester Credit: PA

Craig Shakespeare insisted he has no secret formula despite guiding Leicester to a fourth straight win.

The Foxes also finally collected their first Premier League away victory of the season with a 3-2 success at West Ham.

Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy - three of the main protagonists of last season's title triumph - hit first-half goals as Leicester showed no signs of a European hangover following their impressive win over Sevilla.

And although they may have a Champions League quarter-final meeting with Atletico Madrid on their minds, Shakespeare has ensured they get their domestic affairs in order first.

Claudio Ranieri's replacement - until the end of the season, at least - was keen to praise the work rate of his side as well as goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel's form, with the Danish stopper denying Andy Carroll twice late on in the match.

There is no secret, just hard work, endeavour and resilience, and we showed that today.

We said once the Champions League draw was made let's concentrate on the Premier League. It's been put to one side, we've parked it.

We knew we were coming here on the back of an awful away record and we wanted to put it right.

[Schmeichel] was very important, they were pivotal saves.

I think he's in the best form since I've been here. He's pulled out some crucial saves over the last couple of weeks.

– Craig Shakespeare
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