Leicester City of England attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho is still basking in the euphoria of his return to top form with The Foxes, but he admits is side have been struggling for form and dropping crucial points of recent, thereby putting their UEFA Champions League hopes on a tight rope.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, following a 4-1 loss away to Bournemouth on Sunday, Iheanacho, who was again in their starting line-up, admitted it was another poor outing for the team, but interjected that the biggest target on his mind is how to help the team secure qualification for next season’s UCL.
He was not part of The Foxes’ squad that played in the European elite clubs’ competition back in 2017, after they surprisingly won the English Premier League title the year before, but the ex-Manchester City whiz-kid is now thinking big with the squad that also has his Super Eagles’ colleague, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi on their cards.
With Leicester dropping to fourth position on the EPL log last week, after holding unto third for a very long while, Iheanacho admits the race for a top-four finish this season is still tough to call, but stressed that he still strongly hopes that he will be able to help The Foxes clinch a place in Europe at the end of the campaign.
Having experienced playing in the European top competition during his time with Man City, the expectorations are high once again for Iheanacho, who has 10 goals and four assists across all competitions this season for Leicester, who face Bournemouth in their next game on Sunday.
The King Power Stadium outfit were third before the outbreak of coronavirus forced football activities to be put on hold for almost four months and, though Leicester are now fourth on the league table, one point above fifth-placed Manchester United, Iheanacho is staying upbeat over their chances in the UCL spots.
However, following Sunday’s implosion against Bournemouth, The Foxes have been charged for a resurgence by Iheanacho, who has been in fine form since the restart of the league, scoring two goals in his last three games and he believes the entire squad can rise to the occasion.
The 23-year-old UAE 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup gold medalist and most valuable player, who was deployed on the right of a 3-4-3 formation in The Foxes’ draw against Arsenal on Tuesday, said he is counting on his colleague to rise to the occasion, though the team has not been at its best since the restart, winning only one of their last five games, owing to some injury problems.
Both Nigerian players started Sunday’s game for the visitors at Vitality Stadium, but Ndidi got a 64th minute yellow card and Iheanacho was replaced by Dennis Praet in the 46th minute, as the former champions crumbled like a pack of cards, but he insists they are determined to pick a UCL spot when the campaign eventually ends.
Iheanacho stressed: “We’ve worked really hard to get to this stage, so it would really be a dream [to qualify for the Champions League]. We’ve been training at home and the coaches have been giving us work to do. It’s gone well. I was just keeping fit and training every day.
“Playing with Jamie is an honour. He’s a top finisher, so whenever he plays and scores he inspires me because I want to repeat that. Madders [Maddison], Chilly [Chilwell] and Ricardo are fantastic players. They have a big impact on the team. I love playing with them. Everyone can fill the gaps as well. Everyone knows what to do when you’re taking someone’s place.”