HomeSportsDean Smith relies on character and decision-making in Leicester's fight for survival

Dean Smith relies on character and decision-making in Leicester’s fight for survival

Leicester boss Dean Smith has challenged his players to carry the psychological burden of their relegation battle.

The Foxes host Liverpool on Monday, desperate for victory as they sit two points from safety with three games remaining.

Leeds’ 2-2 draw with Newcastle added additional pressure on the 2016 champions and left them in second place in the Premier League.

Smith, who replaced Brendan Rodgers until the end of the season last month, knows the importance of the Foxes keeping their heads.

“My approach has always been to challenge players in terms of their performances because that’s the only thing they can control,” he said.

“When they come into the game their decision-making has to be good and they have made good decisions because otherwise they wouldn’t have won the FA Cup a couple of years ago. Here are players who have also won the Premier League.

“What they have done in the past shows that they are good decision makers, but this is the bottom line now, we have to make sure we are all good decision makers.

“We have shown in all the games we have had so far that we can come back from a goal against, they know they can come back from that.

“We knew that Fulham would come and put pressure on us and if they did we needed to play past them on the pressure and we played straight for the third goal.

“I felt like we needed to change something at half time and that might open us up a bit in the second half because we wanted to be a little more aggressive on our press.

“I have seen a very good attitude and application in training and in the games that we have had, with the exception of the 45 minutes in Fulham where I felt that we were too passive, we looked out of place.

“Whether that was psychological or not I don’t know, but it seemed to be because I got the back-to-back numbers and I think we were slightly ahead of Fulham in every metric. That psychological part can let you down in technical ability sometimes, so our job is to facilitate that.”



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