Struggling Leicester fires Puel after winless run
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Claude Puel was fired as Leicester manager on Sunday after six losses in the last seven games, including an embarrassing FA Cup exit.
The breaking point for Leicester was a 4-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday that left the team eight points above the Premier League relegation zone in 12th place. The run of bad results started in January when Leicester was knocked out of the cup by fourth-tier Newport, although the only game the team hasn’t lost since then was a draw with second-place Liverpool.
Puel had to guide Leicester through grief when Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died after his helicopter crashed leaving the stadium after a game in October.
The biggest decision for months hanging over Vichai’s son, Top Srivaddhanaprabha, was over the future of Puel.
“The club would like to thank Claude for his efforts in leading the team during his 16 months in the role and wish him well in his future career,” Leicester said in a statement.
First-team coaches Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler have been put in temporary charge of the team while a new manager is recruited.
Puel was Leicester’s second manager since Claudio Ranieri improbably won the Premier League in 2016 after defying 5,000-1 odds.
Hired to replace Craig Shakespeare in October 2017 months after being released by Southampton, Puel led Leicester to finish ninth last season.
While Jamie Vardy’s goals propelled Leicester to the title, Puel had a difficult relationship with the striker, who stuck with Leicester while title-winning stars Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater left for bigger clubs.
Vardy was rested several times and has said Puel’s tactics did not suit his style of play, but he secured Leicester’s last win at Everton in the Premier League on New Year’s Day.