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Puel outlines Champions League ambitions

Filed: Thursday, 25th October 2018
By: Staff Writer

Leicester manager Claude Puel is hoping to mark his first year in charge of Leicester City with a win over West Ham this weekend.

However his long term ambition is to take the Foxes back into the Champions League - where they featured for one season after winning the Premier League title three years ago.

The French manager was hired by Leicester a year ago today (Thursday) having been fired by Southampton just one year into a three-year contract, despite leading the Saints to 8th in the Premier League and reaching the League Cup Final.

And having got through his first year at the King Power Stadium unscathed, 57-year-old Puel is looking to the long-term.

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"One year in the Premier League is a long time," he said. "For the future we have to continue to improve and develop the players. We have a lot of work ahead.

"When I played or managed in France, I played a lot of European games. Itís important to have that ambition and I hope the club competes again in this competition. The aim is to improve, to evolve and find this level once again.

"When Leicester were champions it was difficult the season after because it is difficult to have consistency in all the games. Itís very difficult to maintain good results."

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However one player he is likely to be without when the Foxes host the Hammers this weekend is former England striker Jamie Vardy, who has been struggling with illness this week.

"He [Vardy] has stomach problems, we will see if he can come back," said Puel. "We will see if he can start on Saturday. He trained today, he came back today - but after two days, he hasn't improved."

Making up for the potential loss of Vardy could be the return of Demarai Gray, who has been out of contention recently due to a persistent ankle injury. "I hope we can have Demarai in the squad on Saturday," Puel added.

"Hopefully Demarai comes back to the team - and except Morgan (suspended) and Matty James (Achilles), all the players are available for this game."

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