Leicester City earn Premier League promotion, return to top flight after 10 years
Leicester City stars past and present have begun celebrating their promotion to the Premier League.
Defeats for QPR and Derby meant the Foxes, who beat Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, returned to the top flight of English football. Goalkeeper Schmeichel said: "Achieving promotion was our aim but we want to win the league, no question of that. We’ve got six games left and we want to win the Championship.
"Tonight we celebrate but everyone who knows the mentality of the team or the coaching staff knows as soon as tonight’s over we get back to work. We want to keep pushing on and we’ll be back working hard ahead of Tuesday’s game (at home to Brighton). The real hard work starts to stay in the Premier League."
Schmeichel continued on Sky Sports News: "We’ve had belief all the way through the season I think. I think we can look back and see when we scored late goals and had that never-say-die attitude.
"That helped us immensely all the way through the season and it’s testimony to the players and coaching staff that everyone’s worked really well together. We never panicked. We stuck at our game and knew we were playing good football. Every team has results which aren’t going to go their way but we won nine games in a row and that really propelled us to the top of the league. It’s a great day and I’m really really delighted – but it’s by no means over."
Schmeichel – son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter – is already looking forward to next season’s clash at Old Trafford.
He said: "My phone’s been jammed up ever since but no doubt I’ll be speaking to him. To go to Old Trafford is the ultimate one, having grown up watching lot of games there. It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember. That’s a great one but in the Premier League every game is great to be involved in, so I’m just looking forward to it."
The Foxes lost to Watford in last year’s play-off semi-final, after a dramatic winner deep into stoppage time by Troy Deeney, which came as the result of a counter-attack from Anthony Knockaert’s missed penalty. Schmeichel added: "It’s going to be a lot more enjoyable summer than the last one. Everyone behind the scenes deserves massive credit for working hard towards the same goal."
Forward Gary Taylor-Fletcher also turned his attention to the title, posting on Twitter: "’We are premier league, say we are premier league!!! Get in. #promotionpush now becomes #champwinnerspush."
Left-back Paul Konchesky posted: ”Absolutely buzzing about the results today!! #wearegoingup #lcfc ! Let’s enjoy the rest of season and go again in the top flight #comeon.” Knockaert posted: ”Leicester going up going up going up going up going up !!!!!!!!! I LOVE LEICESTER YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.”
Former Leicester and England striker Gary Lineker was quick to acknowledge the club’s achievement.
He took to Twitter to say: ”Leicester City are promoted to the Premier League. A sentence I’ve been waiting to say for 10 years.”