Enzo Maresca tips Jamie Vardy to carry on the party at upwardly-mobile Leicester

Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2024 by PA

Enzo Maresca tips Jamie Vardy to carry on the party at upwardly-mobile Leicester

Enzo Maresca backed Jamie Vardy to stay at Leicester for another crack at the Premier League after he effectively clinched the Sky Bet Championship title for the Foxes.

The former England striker rolled back the years on Monday by striking twice as Leicester ensured they would return to the top flight as champions with a comfortable 3-0 win at Preston.

The 37-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season but, after he took his tally for the league campaign to 18, Maresca revealed he wanted him part of his squad next term.

The Leicester manager said: “Jamie Vardy is Leicester. Jamie Vardy has always scored goals in his life and he’s going to score goals even when he’s 40, 45.

“It’s in his blood to score goals. We are very lucky that he’s our player.

“Now we finish (the season), we have a game Saturday, and then we sit. But my feeling is that he’s going to stay – this is my feeling, if I can decide.”

It has been a hugely satisfying first season in charge for Maresca, who has rejuvenated the 2016 Premier League winners after their shock relegation last term.

Their promotion was confirmed when second-placed Leeds lost to QPR last Friday and, after easing to victory at Deepdale, they now have the chance to finish the campaign with 100 points in their final game against Blackburn.

The Italian said: “It’s a fantastic feeling. We’ve said many times, it has been a tough season, intense.

“The Championship is a long season, many games, but at the end we did it and we are very happy.

“The performances were there and I think we completely deserved this target.”

Maresca admitted plenty of celebrations had already taken place prior to travelling to Lancashire.

He said: “I had pizza and then invited the coaching staff at home, but then suddenly at 2 o’clock in the morning the players arrived! The party lasted a little longer.

“We enjoyed the last two days a lot. I told them they need to enjoy this – we work every day for moments like this.

“But we tried to be focused yesterday to prepare for the game.”

Enzo Maresca tips Jamie Vardy to carry on the party at upwardly-mobile Leicester
Kasey McAteer was also on target in the win at Preston (Nick Potts/PA)

Vardy struck either side of half-time with Kasey McAteer wrapping up the win.

Preston manager Ryan Lowe, whose side hardly troubled the Foxes, admitted Leicester were too strong.

He said: “They’re a good team. We knew they would have large passages of play and control it but, the three goals, you can’t give them chances like that or they will punish you.

“For all their dominance and brilliance, the three goals were frustrating and that needs to change.

“But they have done a fantastic job. They have set the bar high and I wish them all the best and congratulations.”


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