Leicester´s Shakespeare aiming to match Mourinho & Guardiola

1 April 2017 11:38

Craig Shakespeare says it is “unbelievable” to be in with a chance of becoming only the fifth manager in Premier League history to win each of his first four top-flight matches.

As well as beating Sevilla in the Champions League, the Leicester City boss has overseen victories over Liverpool, Hull City and West Ham since replacing the sacked Claudio Ranieri last month.

And if the Foxes defeat Stoke City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, Shakespeare will join Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink and Pep Guardiola as the only managers to have won their first four league games in charge since 1992.

He would also be the first Englishman to achieve the feat and Shakespeare is aware of the elite company he could join.

“To be mentioned in the same breath as them is unbelievable,” Shakespeare told reporters.

“I would take great pride in that if it happens but the rewards are secondary in terms of the team and the bigger picture.”

When it was suggested he could not have hoped for a better start, Shakespeare largely agreed, adding: “I would be stupid to say otherwise but it was one I thought the players were capable of. 

“It has been very pleasing for not just me but the players, the staff, the owners and supporters – but we are not safe yet.”

Leicester are six points clear of the relegation zone with 10 matches to play and Shakespeare, who formerly served as assistant coach, is happy to wait to find out if he will get the job beyond 2016-17.

But the 53-year-old revealed he is taking an active interest in Leicester’s transfer plans for next season.

“I am quite open to whenever they want to [hold discussions],” Shakespeare said of the club’s owners.

“It is stated that the manager’s contract is to the end of the season. I don’t see any reason to speak before that unless the club want to.

“I am quite comfortable about that. There is no clause, nothing, only that it is until the end of the season.

“We have a head of recruitment and a recruitment department. I speak to them regularly because I’m interested in it. 

“[Player recruitment] is a big issue at any club and I think it would be remiss of me not to take an interest in it. How much of an influence I can have you will have to ask the club but I have a real interest.”

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