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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Leicester City to rely on 'spirit' and fan support in first home match since owner's death

In other news from Thursday's Premier League press conferences, Pochettino distances himself from Real Madrid speculation and Mina is ready to make Everton debut

Leicester City's manager Claude Puel and captain Kasper Schmeichel attend a funeral rite of the club's late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. EPA
Leicester City's manager Claude Puel and captain Kasper Schmeichel attend a funeral rite of the club's late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. EPA

Leicester City manager Claude Puel said the club will rely on "spirit and attitude" against Burnley on Saturday as the Premier League club play their first home game since the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash.

Following their 1-0 victory against Cardiff City last week, Puel flew to Bangkok with some of his players to attend a mourning rite for Vichai, meaning preparations for Saturday's match against Burnley were disrupted.

Vichai died on October 27, along with four others, when his helicopter crashed moments after taking off from inside Leicester's King Power Stadium following a 1-1 draw with West Ham United.

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"It was a long journey but it was very important for us to support Vichai's family and honour our chairman," Puel said on Thursday. "We tried to work a little of Wednesday and had a light training session today, the same tomorrow.

"It is not easy to prepare for this game. The emotion, no consistency in training sessions. But we will compensate with our spirit and attitude and the support from the fans, of course.

"In the last game we found the right balance between emotion and the balance in our game. We have to do the same again and give the right response to honour our chairman."

Puel hopes his players cope with the emotion of Saturday's match but praised his players for how they had reacted following the tragedy.

"The players have shown great maturity, it is like a family," he said.

"We will manage the moment step by step but I feel in my players focus and soul," he added. "They have learned a lot about themselves in all this and I am proud of them all."

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino reiterated his commitment to the club on Thursday, giving short shrift to speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

Madrid sacked coach Julen Lopetegui last week and Pochettino has been one of the names linked to the vacancy, but the Argentine said he had no interest in the job.

"Our fans need to know that I am focused in Tottenham, working so hard to help the club achieve what we want," Pochettino told a news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to face Crystal Palace.

"Rumour after rumour always happen not only at Tottenham but at all the teams and you can't do anything."

Meanwhile, Everton defender Yerry Mina has said he is in "great shape" and ready to make his overdue debut for his new club when they travel to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Colombia international Mina joined Everton from Barcelona in the summer for £27 million (Dh130m) but has been sidelined with injury.

"I'm really excited about the chance of playing this weekend. I'm glad to be in this moment. I'm in great shape, 100 per cent fit, and ready to help the team," he told a news conference on Thursday.

"I know I've joined a great club. I'm relaxed about having to wait for the moment to play but I've been keen to get started. I'm just determined to enjoy myself and perform as well as I can."