Lee Clark is looking for his side to continue their recent impressive exploits on the road when they head for the King Power Stadium on Friday evening.
Blues are currently top of the npower Championship away form table with four wins and a draw from the last six games on their travels. Even taking into account the whole season, Clark’s team have the sixth best record in the division on opposition soil.
The St. Andrew’s boss is understandably vexed that his players have been unable to repeat the same level of displays on a consistent basis in front of their own fans. However, he is eager for them to put on a show for the armchair Bluenoses in tomorrow’s televised encounter, just as they did with the 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park a fortnight ago.
“I might ask if we can play all 46 games away from home next season,” quipped Clark, before adding: “We’ve had one or two blips along the way but in general our away performances have been good. We’ve been strong and compact and handled the ball really well.
“It seems to have suited our players a bit better to be playing away from home and that’s been the frustrating thing for me, because I would love to replicate that more at home to show the fans. At least our last away performance was on live television and it gave the fans an opportunity to see what I’ve been saying on numerous occasions when we’ve played away, that we’ve got a good side. Hopefully we can continue that on Friday night but it will be a very tough game.”
Blues face a Foxes outfit that are without a win in their last eight matches and who were beaten 1-0 in each of their last two home outings. Nigel Pearson’s charges are stuttering at just the wrong time, having been flying high in the automatic promotion places for most of the season. They dropped out of top six at the start of this month after a 2-0 defeat at Barnsley, but will have taken heart from a creditable 1-1 draw at play-off rivals Brighton and Hove Albion last time out – a game in which they led until the dying stages.
The points were shared when the teams met at St. Andrew’s back in mid-October, when only a late Ben Marshall goal, which cancelled out Peter Lovenkrands’ opener, denied Blues victory. Clark was impressed with The Foxes that day and is predicting another difficult encounter at the King Power Stadium.
“I thought when we played Leicester earlier in the season that they were one of the best teams in the league,” said the Blues chief. “They had good, young players that moved the ball around quickly. They’ve had a little bit of a dip in form but I watched the dvd of their game against Brighton and I thought they were excellent.”
“They’ve got a good squad and a very good manager,” continued Clark, who worked alongside the now Leicester boss at Newcastle when he was The Magpies’ reserve-team coach and Pearson was assistant manager. “I think we’ve got the same thought process in terms of young, high-energy players who play with pace and tempo. But they’re not the biggest team in the division and that’s one area where we shouldn’t lose out. It’s got all the ingredients of a good game and I’m looking forward to it.”
Leicester will be desperate for a victory to reinvigorate their bid for a play-off berth and to get their supporters back onside following the disappointing points return of recent weeks. “Nigel will be thinking that they’ll need to win each game – a point might not be enough for them – and we need to use that in our favour,” Clark added.
Meanwhile, the Blues manager is determined not to let his side coast through to the end of the campaign. When asked how many more points he was targeting from the remaining five fixtures, he insisted: “15, starting with three on Friday night. I look to try and win every game.”