Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez feels the Premier League table-toppers won their toughest away match of the season to date when they defeated Everton on Saturday.
The Algeria international scored two penalties and Shinji Okazaki was also on target as Claudio Ranieri’s men won 3-2 to guarantee top spot at Christmas.
“It was a difficult game, I think the most difficult away game we have had this season,” Mahrez told Sky Sports.
“We won 3-2, they didn’t have a lot of chances, but they had the possession. I think we defended well and deserved this victory
“It is always good to win, especially away. They said we didn’t win here for maybe 30 years so it is very good for the club and the fans – I am very happy.”
Five of the last six teams to sit top at Christmas day have gone on to win the title, but Mahrez is sticking to Ranieri’s line that Leicester are waiting to have 40 points secured before discussing any goal greater than avoiding the drop.
The 24-year-old continued: “Three more points and then we will speak about something else maybe. Even in the dressing room we say we have to have the 40 points and after we can speak.
“We are flying at the moment so everyone is very happy to play in this team. We need to keep going. We have 38 points and that is very very good. We didn’t know we would be on this amount of points after 17 games so that is amazing for us.”
Mahrez now has 13 Premier League goals and feels confidence has been key to his remarkable progress in 2015-16, while discussing his thought process for beating Tim Howard twice from the spot.
He added: “Personally when you keep scoring and make some assists to help the team to win it is normal to have the confidence, but as well the team and manager give me a lot of confidence. So that is a good thing and that is why I am better than last year.
“[For the penalties] I was not nervous, maybe a little but it is okay – you choose one side and you just shoot. For the first one I watched him, the second one I just wanted to put in the right side.”