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Neville: Vardy must prove form against big teams

Gary Neville challenged red-hot Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy to prove another point when his side face bigger clubs in coming matches.

Vardy equalled Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10 straight Premier League games, with a goal in his team’s 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

The England international has scored 13 league goals this season to help Leicester surprisingly top the table.

With matches against Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City before the year’s end, Neville said it was another opportunity for Vardy.

“There are questions we have to ask moving forward about Vardy, because there’s no way teams will be as bad as Newcastle’s defence were on Saturday, particularly in these next six games which are tough,” England assistant Neville told Sky Sports.

“He’s going to get marked tighter and he’ll have less space.

“What you have to consider about certain players is: can they play in tight areas, can they play when it’s quicker like five-a-side?

“Sometimes players like Jamie Vardy can become a little bit exposed because you always think of them running in behind but he’s got a good touch, a much better touch than people give him credit for.

“I think he can play in tight areas but I think in the next few weeks against the top defences is where we’ll really see whether he can adapt and adjust when other teams will give him a lot more respect than other teams are at the moment.”

Vardy was playing in the Conference Premier in 2011-12 and this season is shaping as his most prolific since joining Leicester.

Neville said he had noticed huge improvement in Vardy in the past year, having seen him score just five league goals last season.

“Any player who plays up front in a Premier League team needs to catch the eye of the England coaching team and the reports that were coming through 12 months ago were that he was raw, a little bit erratic in front of goal but he was lightning quick and a bit of a handful,” he said.

“His England call-up probably gave him a lot more confidence. He’s come into this season and he’s a completely different player in terms of that little bit of rawness. He was unpolished last season, you look at him now and he’s a fantastic finisher.”

Tue 24 Nov, 2015
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