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Huth defends Leicester's decision to sack Puel - 'He was really hard work'

The ex-Foxes defender has offered an insight into the Frenchman’s ill-fated reign at the King Power Stadium.

Claude Puel was dismissed by the Foxes after 16 months in charge.
Claude Puel was dismissed by the Foxes after 16 months in charge.

ROBERT HUTH HAS defended Leicester City’s decision to sack Claude Puel as their manager, describing the 57-year-old coach as ‘really hard work’.

Puel was dismissed after the Foxes were thrashed 4-1 at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, bringing to an end his 16-month spell in charge.

Leicester have endured a miserable 2019 to date, suffering five defeats in their last six outings, while also exiting the FA Cup at the hands of League Two outfit Newport County.

The 2016 Premier League winners have managed to lose four consecutive home games for the first time since 2000, while also falling behind in 19 of their 27 matches – the worst record in the top flight.

Despite leading the team to a ninth-place finish last season, Puel has received widespread criticism for his conservative tactics over the last few months and, according to Huth, he was ‘working against the players’.

The German defender retired from professional football in January after spending the last three years of his career at Leicester and he insists Puel was unable to motivate his squad.

“I personally found Claude Puel really hard work,” Huth told BBC 5 Live Sport. “We’ve obviously had managers before who had a really energetic and positive vibe, getting you up for games and when he came in, it was pretty much the opposite.

“We had a group that played high energy football for 90 minutes and he pretty much changed it. It was almost working against the players in the sense that, you know ‘you guys played like that for three years but I’m going to do it this way’ and that didn’t quite work.”

The Foxes are now 12th in the Premier League table and in real danger of being dragged into the relegation picture, just eight points above 18th-placed Southampton.

A huge game against Brighton is up next for Leicester at the King Power on Tuesday against Brighton, before a tough clash with Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Huth went on to question Puel’s managerial methods, suggesting that his assistants were forced to compensate for his lack of leadership skills.

“If things aren’t going well you need someone to point that out and be brutally honest with the players,” he added. “Quite frankly, I don’t believe he was the guy to do that because if you let the players underperform as they have, you’re setting them up for failure.

“It was mainly down to his assistants, the staff that were there before, they set the tone and tried to get the players up for games. He didn’t really do it when I was there, it was always up to the backroom staff.”

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