PRE HUDDERSFIELD

Telegraph-sport

YOU have to take your hat off to Leicester City on winning promotion to the Premier League given the manner of their defeat in last season’s play offs.
Remember how Leicester had a late penalty to win their semi-final tie and book a place in the final at Wembley? The spot kick was saved and Watford stormed straight down the other end to grab a dramatic winner.
That heartbreak was probably the biggest single factor in driving Leicester on this season.
It probably made them even more determined, and gave them greater strength and resilience, which they have shown.
May be it needed that kind of disappointment, that kind of setback to really push them on.
Many people expected Leicester to go up a few seasons ago when they spent a lot of money and players arrived on high wages.
They assembled a really strong squad, but there was still something missing at the time.
They have added each season, and got a little bit better each season, and it is probably the continuity of players and manager this season that has helped.
There was talk of the manager [Nigel Pearson] going last season when they missed out on promotion, but Leicester stuck with him and they have reaped the rewards.
They have been the best side in the division, no doubt.
They have run away with the division since beating us in January.
That was a big game for both teams.
They were playing well, and so were we, but they brushed us aside that night.
They went 15 games unbeaten after that before they lost against Brighton on Tuesday night, after promotion had already been secured.
David Nugent has been a key figure again.
He is a lively striker, a player who looks like he enjoys his football because he’s always got a smile on his face.
I think he is a Premier League player who has been playing in this division.
When he was at Preston, I always felt he had a little bit more in his locker, and he has scored goals pretty much at every club he has played for. He has experience and quality.
Leicester have been consistent. They have been an attacking threat and they possess match-winners, but they have also defended solidly.
Wes Morgan has been a great signing from Nottingham Forest. He is a no-nonsense centre half.
Leicester have found ways to win games. If not through their attacking, through being solid.
While Leicester sit top of the table, my old club Blackpool are struggling.
They were in sixth place when they came to Derby in December. Now they are in a relegation scrap, and I fear for them.
I said at the start of the season that they might struggle.
I thought they made a bad decision to change the nucleus of the squad. Seven or eight players went – Alex Baptiste, Stephen Crainey, Keith Southern, Ian Evatt, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Kevin Phillips and Matt Phillips.
And obviously Tom Ince was only going to stay for so long.
A lot of those players had been there a long time and had been great servants but Blackpool wanted a fresh look, a fresh way forward. I think they tried to change too much too quickly.
Tuesday was a really big game for them and although they took an early lead, we came back to win 3-1.
It is sad to see Blackpool where they are because they have had so many highs in the last few years.
Hopefully, they have got enough to stay in this division but it is going to be tough for them.

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