06 Apr One game at a time for Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel insists Leicester are not getting carried away despite the prospect of becoming Barclays Premier League champions now being within touching distance.
Leicester’s transformation from virtual relegation certainties to champions-elect is the story of the past 12 months. A year ago the Foxes were bottom of the table and seven points adrift of safety – on Sunday a 1-0 home win against Southampton moved them seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham at the summit.
Schmeichel is one of several members of the current squad who were with the club when they won the Championship title in 2014.
The Denmark international goalkeeper, who has kept 10 clean sheets in his last 15 Premier League matches, insists the mantra two years ago was one game at a time and nothing has changed – starting with the trip to Sunderland at the weekend.
Asked if it was now easy to start thinking about the title, Schmeichel said: ” It is for you lot (the media) but not for us. Granted it was in another league, but a lot of us have done this before. A lot of those players are still here from that period and we know what it’s like.
“Like I say, it’s a different level this time, but it’s the same type of thing. You’ve got to take it one game at a time. If we start looking ahead after Sunderland then we’re not going to put our full focus on Sunderland, which is what we need to do because that’s a tough, tough game.
“It’s about the whole mentality of taking each game as it comes. We are under no pressure at all and it’s great. The pressure was last season when your back is against the wall and you’re fighting for you lives. A relegation means everything to a club, to a city, to a whole community – as people could lose their jobs.
“That would have been catastrophic, that was real pressure. This is just great, we’re enjoying this.”
Leicester can guarantee themselves a top-four finish and a place in at least the qualification round of the Champions League this weekend if results go their way.
It was last week announced that Claudio Ranieri’s side will play in the International Champions Cup this summer against Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic.
Asked if that would be good preparation, Schmeichel again refused to look beyond Sunday’s trip to the Stadium of Light.
He said: ” Like I say – Sunderland. My thoughts are nowhere near that. Sunderland is our 100 per cent focus.”