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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


Foxes boss wants league focus before 'massive' tie

Leicester boss Shakespeare has won three out of three so far Credit: AP

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare is looking forward to the "massive challenge" of facing Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Foxes' progress on their debut in Europe's elite club competition has gone some way to rivalling the shock value of their Premier League triumph.

After toppling Spanish title challengers Sevilla in the last 16, Leicester will now take on a team who have reached the Champions League final in two of the last three seasons.

And Shakespeare told the club website that before that tie rolls around, Leicester have to focus on domestic matters.

Facing a team who have reached the final in two of the last three seasons is a massive challenge but it's just the kind of tie you expect in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid are a very good team with some fantastic individuals with experience in the competition, but we'll be ready to give everything to progress.

It will be a brilliant occasion for our supporters and for everyone at the club but, before the players can begin to think about these games, we have Premier League matches to come that are of huge significance to our season. They will be our sole focus.

– Craig Shakespeare

Foxes won't be distracted by Europe - Shakespeare

Craig Shakespeare is in charge of Leicester until the end of the season Credit: PA

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare has dismissed any fears the Foxes will get caught up in their Champions League euphoria.

They go to West Ham on Saturday after being handed a tie with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals following Tuesday's win over Sevilla.

Shakespeare extended his 100 per cent record as a manager as the Premier League champions edged through 3-2 on aggregate after their 2-0 home win and they are the last English club left in the competition.

But the Foxes are three points above the relegation zone and yet to win away in the league this season - a run stretching back 11 months - with Shakespeare confident they will shake off their European joy.

I haven't found it a challenge so far and I can only go on what I have experienced.

The talk straight after the game was to improve the away record. I haven't banned talk of the Champions League but after the game the focus, what I wanted, has been on West Ham.

We're in a professional industry and the players know it's my job and the job of the staff to make sure the focus is there. To a man that's what they have concentrated on.

It's not hard - there are good memories and nice memories but that's what they are. The sole aim is the next Premier League game, as it's been mentioned we have a poor away record.

We want to move away from (the relegation zone) because it is tight down there but we can't look too far ahead. We're solely focused on each game as it comes. The players are aware of the record, it's very hard to put your finger on why (we have struggled away).

– Craig Shakespeare
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