England striker Jamie Vardy has offered assurances that his goalscoring exploits are not simply fuelled by energy drinks and nicotine.
Vardy came off the bench to net an equaliser as England got their Euro 2016 campaign up and running with a 2-1 win over Wales in Lens on Thursday.
Photos of the Leicester City star clutching a can of Red Bull and oral nicotine pouches have subsequently garnered much attention, along with Vardy’s claims that he shuns gym work so as not to bulk up and hinder his explosive pace.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s concluding group match against Slovakia in Saint-Etienne, the 29-year-old sought to provide a little context when he addressed the media at England’s Chantilly training base.
“I just had one bad night’s sleep so I needed Red Bull to wake me up,” Vardy explained. “The nicotine patch, it’s not something I do regularly – it was just something I needed at the time.
“The medical staff are more than happy that I’m on them.
“I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing at club football. It’s worked for me this season and in previous seasons, so why should I change it now?
“It’s definitely not just the Red Bulls, put it that way. I eat like anyone else, normal foods.
“That’s just how I am, everyone’s different. My metabolism keeps me slim.”
Vardy’s second-half impact last time out could win him a starting berth versus Slovakia, particularly in light of Roy Hodgson switching to a formation using two central strikers.
Nevertheless, the man who plundered 24 Premier League goals last season concedes he would understand the England boss keeping him in reserve.
“You can see the logic, definitely,” Vardy continued. “If players are getting tired, it’s probably easier [for me to] exploit. But I’m happy either way.
“It’s down to me, with what I do in training, hopefully to get in the gaffer’s mind to maybe get a start. We’ll see what happens.”
Vardy added: “The performance overall against Wales was very good. We created a lot of chances and we didn’t deserve to be losing at half-time. We need to keep on doing exactly what we’re doing and the goals will come.”