Leicester City Manager gives Championship Promotion verdict

Following his team’s 1-0 loss to Leeds United last night, Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca believes the fight for automatic promotion in the Championship is wide open.

The Foxes entered the clash between the two demoted clubs on a run of nine consecutive league victories, which had seen them open a five-point lead over second-placed Ipswich Town. However, a single goal from Georginio Rutter was enough to give the Whites a 1-0 victory at the King Power Stadium, only Leicester’s second defeat of the season.

Despite a sluggish start to the season, Leeds have steadily climbed the standings in recent weeks, and last night’s victory cemented their third-place position. They are still 11 points behind the top, while Ipswich are six points ahead of Yorkshire despite having played two fewer games.

Leeds 1-1 Leicester: Luis Sinisterra and Jamie Vardy score - BBC Sport

Maresca, on the other hand, was pleased with his performance and praised the game’s quality. In the aftermath, the 43-year-old told the Yorkshire Post:

“I just said hello to him (Daniel Farke), and I’m sure the fans in the stadium and on television enjoyed the game.”

“We are both building, even if the difference in the table is still 11 points – we are aiming for the same goal.”

“They are very good, fast, dangerous, and technically sound. Overall, we’re pleased; we can’t win every game, and losing is a necessary part of the process. We can, without a doubt, do better.

“I’m not sure why they start better than us.” “I believe our reaction was very positive.”

Despite the large difference between the top two and the rest of the pack, the former Manchester City assistant feels several sides are still in contention for automatic promotion.

“Leeds, like us, is building for promotion.”

“It’s a long race for many clubs, not just Leeds and Leicester, with Leicester, Ipswich, and Southampton.” Sunderland could be there for me.”

Leicester City 0-1 Leeds United: Foxes' winning run ended by impressive  Leeds - BBC Sport

Leicester will face a tough test next week before the international break as they go to Michael Carrick’s Middlesbrough.

Maresca is correct in his view that there are still many clubs with a chance to finish in the top two. If Ipswich win their two games in hand, which begin today with a trip to Birmingham City, they would replace Leicester at the top of the table, but there are still over 30 games left this season and a lot can change.

The Championship is arguably as strong as it has ever been, and the clubs he has identified, as well as Middlesbrough and Hull City, should be in with a chance come May.

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