Claude Puel is facing a battle in an attempt to convince Leicester City's owners that he is the right man to take the club forward despite a decline in form, according to reports.
The 56-year-old was appointed in October last year and provided an instant uplift to the relegation-threatened Foxes; winning five and drawing two of his first eight games at the helm.
However, claiming 18 points from the following 17 outings has left several of the King Power Stadium hierarchy frustrated, and according to the Daily Mail, the Frenchman, who was sacked as Southampton boss at the end of last term although he secured an eighth-place finish and a League Cup semi final showing, is under threat of losing his job for the second successive year.
Claude Puel in danger of a second Premier League sacking in a year. Finishing 8th is a dangerous business !— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) April 27, 2018
The club had hoped that they would have been able to secure Europa League football following their £80m summer spending spree, with the proposition of pipping Arsenal to sixth believed to be a realistic target as the campaign unfolded.
But an unconvincing period following the 'new manager bounce' has left Leicester in ninth, now sitting behind Everton and nine points adrift of Burnley who occupy the final European place.
However, the Srivaddhanaprabha family are not only concerned with the club's league position, with Puel's inconsistency over selections regarding Adrien Silva, Vicente Iborra, Aleksandar Dragovic and Kelechi Iheanacho coupled with his decision to drop Wes Morgan and Danny Simpson for their goalless draw against Southampton equally as frustrating.
Claude Puel responds to #LCFC fans’ frustrations.— Mercury LCFC (@MercuryLCFC) April 26, 2018
“It is important to see our journey. When I got here, it was important to save the club. Now, we play in the top half of the table. We maintain the club, we saved the club, now it is important to put in place a good foundation.”
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But ahead of his side's trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday, one of several unexpected outfits who secured points at the King Power under the 56-year-old's watch, the Frenchman defended his record.
"Don't just think about results, this is a project for the club," he said. "It's a long-term process. It's a success for us to finish in the top half of the table and two quarter-finals. When I got here, it was important to save the club.
"I'm here to work on a process, and to find the good stability and to put in place a good foundation. We need to change a little more about our style, to give consistency and long-term success."