Jamie Vardy is set to return for Leicester against Aston Villa on Monday Night Football, and gave Dickie Davis an insight into a season full of ups and downs.
Vardy has missed the last two Leicester games with a minor calf injury, which has struck following a nine-game scoring drought.
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The Foxes are also winless in their last four Premier League games, although did beat Birmingham in the FA Cup on Wednesday, and Vardy is confident that an upturn in form is not far away.
“I can’t picture a reason [for the dip in Leicester’s form],” he told Soccer Saturday reporter Davis. “Obviously if we knew what it was we’d be trying to amend it. We started really well, then had a bit of a dip, but I think most teams go through that during a season. Now it’s all about coming out the other side and kicking on again.
“There are no easy games at all, everyone is in the Premier League because they deserve to be. In every game, we know we’ve got to be at 100 per cent to have a chance to get anything out of it so like I said, we have to try and forget about this blip and try to kick on again and try to keep staying where we are [in the table].
Leicester vs A Villa
March 9, 2020, 7:00pm
“We put in the effort in training every single day and we know we’ve got to train the way we play to take it into a game so everyone’s working as hard as they can on the training field. It might just be a slight mental block as to why we’re not starting that well in games.”
Despite a recent dip in form, Leicester remain in third – eight points from fifth – after an eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League earlier this season.
It’s not just Leicester who had hit a bumpy patch, there has been an air of inconsistency surrounding the top six this season with teams like Sheffield United threatening to crash the party, but Vardy wants to be in the mix on 17 May.
“It’s been a great start but you don’t want to be that team that has a great start and all of a sudden you’re not up there,” he said. “We’ve got to keep working hard to try and pick up as many points as we can in these last 10 games.
“If anything, the inconsistency shows you that things are changing. Look at the squad like we’ve got, we’re more than capable of beating anyone on the day and other teams up there like Sheffield United have been playing really well. They deserve to be up there. It’s the consistency that they’re putting in week-in week-out.
“That’s where we’ve got to get back to – that consistency that we had in the first half of the season and hopefully that will keep us up there.
“The margins are getting closer, slowly but surely. With the quality of everyone’s squad, they are capable of beating anyone on any given day. That’s why for us kicking on now and making sure we’re 100 per cent for every game is crucial.”
‘No conversations with England’
In August 2018, Vardy withdrew himself from England selection, telling Gareth Southgate he would only return if there was an injury crisis.
Fast forward 18 months and England’s first choice strikers – Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford – are touch and go for Euro 2020, but would Vardy consider an England return?
“Who knows?” he said. “Gareth and I were both agreed that the door would still be open for whatever reason and then we would sit down and have a talk about it [if needed].
“We’ve not had the chat or anything yet and nothing has been spoken about. The lads (Kane and Rashford) are out injured, but they’re looking to be back in time. So only time will tell.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a few extra days off in the international breaks so I’ve been able to switch off completely from football and it is always beneficial sometimes.
“Knowing that when you get back it’s constant again, it’s 100 per cent football every day so it’s one of those things that has benefited me.”
‘Not about revenge with Aston Villa’
Leicester have already faced Aston Villa three times this season, including two legs in the Carabao Cup semi-final which they lost 3-2 on aggregate.
But Vardy insists that Leicester are not looking for revenge on Monday Night Football, saying: “I don’t think you can look at it like that. It’s three more points we want to get.
“It doesn’t matter who it’s against, we want to keep knocking those points on the board and staying third at least.
“Nothing counts until you’re finished – it really is that simple. We had a good start, but with a little blip.
“In a different year, we might not have still been sat in third and then we’re fighting to get back up there so to still be in that position is a good start, but we know we’ve got to finish the job off.”
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