Leicester City manager Claude Puel has claimed that his side's performance wasn't good enough in their 0-0 draw away to Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup third round. The Foxes struggled to cause the Cod Army any real threat, with the hosts earning themselves a replay at the King Power Stadium.
Speaking after the match, via the club's official website, Puel pulled no punches in his criticism of his side, claiming that their performance wasn't up to scratch against the League 2 side. The former Southampton manager began by applauding his opponents, saying:
"Congratulations to Fleetwood because they played very well with quality. It was a special game, a cup game and it had a good atmosphere. It had all the ingredients to make an upset, with the pitch making it difficult to play on the floor."
Moving on to address his own performance, Puel conceded that his side underperformed, but also cited the hectic festive fixture list as hampering his team's efforts. Puel said:
"I picked a team that can win the game, knowing the fitness levels of my players after four games in 10 days. I think there is no excuse about this. We have had a good team on the pitch but it was not enough from the play. We have a lot of injuries with Wes Morgan, Danny Simpson, Jamie Vardy and Christian Fuchs is ill and Robert Huth wasn’t available.
“I think it was a disappointment in the first half because we didn’t find the space to play with quality and create chances to score. After that they began to believe that is possible to win this game. The second half there was duels, battles, long balls and set plays and sometimes it is a lottery. We needed more control of the game.
“It was good to give some game time also to young players like Harvey Barnes, but of course it was a minimum from us today to make the replay. They are a good team and it is a good thing to have the possibility to play the replay at home, and to give some game time to players like Adrien Silva and Matty James after their comeback.”
The Foxes will now have a week to recover from their recent exertions, before they face Premier League champions Chelsea next Saturday afternoon.