Leicester City manager Claude Puel has claimed that he chose to substitute Jamie Vardy during his side's 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City because he believed the striker was tired.
The Foxes slumped to a shock loss on Saturday afternoon, as an excellent goalkeeping performance from Neil Etheridge kept Puel's side at bay for the duration of the match. The Philippines international saved a penalty from James Maddison late on, before the Bluebirds sealed a dramatic late win via Victor Camarasa's stoppage-time strike.
Speaking after the defeat, via the Leicester Mercury, Puel revealed why he substituted Vardy with around thirty minutes of the game still to play - a decision that drew boos from the Foxes faithful - and said: "They were tired, Marc (Albrighton, also taken off) and Jamie (Vardy) too, in their control, with their touches. It’s normal.
"We tried to find solution and to push with fresh players giving their best. It’s a normal thing to try to find the good clinical edge. I manage my team about what I see. Jamie was in difficulty, he was tired. It’s normal. He has played almost all the last games, with full minutes. For Jamie or for other players, they have tiredness in this busy period."
Leicester fans will have been deeply disappointed to see their side squander an opportunity for an easy three points, given their previously excellent run of form over Christmas that saw them claim shock wins over both Manchester City and Chelsea. Puel's side are currently eighth in the Premier League table - four points off sixth placed Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Puel also said that his side were very unlucky to lose to Neil Warnock's team on Saturday, but claimed that his team didn't have the 'clinical edge' necessary to break down the stubborn Bluebirds. Cardiff's win saw them move up to 16th place in the Premier League table - three points clear of the relegation zone.