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Leicester boss Puel urges Kelechi Iheanacho to brace up in Jamie Vardy’s absence

1:54 PM GMT 24/08/2018
Kelechi Iheanacho Leicester City
The Foxes will be without the 31-year-old when they face the Saints and the Nigeria international has been charged to deliver

Leicester City manager Claude Puel has urged Kelechi Iheanacho to brace up in the absence of suspended Jamie Vardy ahead of their tie against Southampton on Saturday.

Vardy was sent off in the Foxes’ 2-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend and has been subsequently banned for three games.

However, the French tactician is hoping the former Manchester City attacker will seize the opportunity as well as his other forwards when they face Mark Hughes' men at St. Mary's Stadium.

“Jamie is a valuable player for us,” Puel told Leicester Mercury.

“We know his importance to the team but we have to move on and to make a good confidence in other players.

“It is a good opportunity for other players to show their attributes, like Iheanacho, [Demerai] Gray and perhaps [Shinji] Okazaki if he can come back with a good fitness. We will see this.”

Iheanacho was impressive in the absence of Vardy during pre-season scoring four goals in three games and will hope to replicate the form against Southampton, Liverpool and Bournemouth - games the England international will miss.