Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare defended his squad’s strength in depth after a team with five changes in the starting line-up lost 4-2 at Everton in the Premier League.
With the first leg of Leicester’s Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid just three days away, Shakespeare rested Shinji Okazaki, Christian Fuchs and Wilfred Ndidi at Goodison Park, while Danny Simpson and Riyad Mahrez were both named as substitutes.
Despite seeing his side concede three first-half goals, including a Tom Davies strike just 30 seconds into the game, Shakespeare insisted that the changes to his line-up were not to blame for a run of six consecutive victories coming to an end.
He told Sky Sports: “We’ve got a strong squad and I believe in all of them. When given the opportunity I expect them to deliver.
“They’re a very unique group. I’ve never worked with a group like this in terms of their winning mentality and training.
“It wasn’t quite there and we didn’t quite have that bit of luck that we’ve had in the past.”
Everton’s third goal arrived when Phil Jagielka headed home Kevin Mirallas’ corner and Romelu Lukaku added a fourth when Leicester failed to clear their lines from a similar situation.
Shakespeare called for his players to be more aggressive at set-pieces, saying: “The disappointing thing was the two goals we conceded from set plays.
“I know Everton have a really good record here, they work hard to get in between the lines and cause you problems, getting overloads in there, but that wasn’t what caused us problems; it was defending the set plays.
“I think we need to be more aggressive in there, we have to make sure we get an arm across and stay with runners. Most things have been going our way and they might have hit the post, but they didn’t.”
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