Jamie Vardy would not consider Leicester City missing out on the Premier League title a failure.
After narrowly avoiding relegation from the top flight last season, Leicester lead the way this term with a five-point advantage over Tottenham and Arsenal ahead of their trip to Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Leicester boosted their title chances with a stunning 3-1 victory at Manchester City last week, but Vardy – the Premier League’s top scorer this season – insists they are not feeling the pressure.
“It won’t be a failure [if Leicester don’t win the title] because nobody gave us a chance at the start of the season, we’ve just been on a good run and it has been a very enjoyable ride which we are enjoying every minute of,” the England striker told Sky Sports.
“The team spirit in the dressing room, everyone is close-knit, that’s how we always have been. It started with the run last season, getting out of the relegation zone, and we’ve carried it on.”
Vardy went on to express his confidence that Leicester can follow up their win at the Etihad Stadium by beating another of their title rivals this weekend – despite the fact Arsenal ran out convincing winners in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
“They’re all massive, massive games, and we know it’s going to be tough, especially as they beat us 5-2 at our place earlier in the season. But I don’t really think it was a 5-2 game, I think it could have gone either way it was that open,” he added.
“We know they’ve got world-class players in their ranks but we know we can cause anyone trouble when it comes to game time. We’ll be looking at ways to hurt them and putting that on the pitch on Sunday.”
Vardy has scored 18 Premier League goals this term and set a new record by netting in 11 consecutive matches before Christmas – a far cry from his return of five goals from 34 top-flight appearances last season.
He continued: “I think I needed time to adapt. You have to put the work in, that’s what it’s about. When we struggle in the first year you have to put in the work in the off-season. But obviously I wouldn’t have been able to be in those positions without my team-mates.
“I’ve had to adapt little things, but the pace and aggression has always been there since I remember playing football, because nine times out of 10 I’m playing football against people that are bigger than me so I have to put my weight around a bit more.
“You have to work on the type of runs you are making, and also your hold up play. For not being a big lad I have to improve on that area as well.”