Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Enzo Maresca happy with Leicester as they dig in to take a point at Hull

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Mar 2024

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Enzo Maresca saluted the character of his side after Leicester battled back to earn a 2-2 at Hull.

Jamie Vardy scored a brace as the Sky Bet Championship league leaders twice came from behind to earn a valuable point at the MKM Stadium.

Maresca – whose side are now three points clear of second-placed Leeds – said: “It was a tough game, as we expected.

“They are a very good team and their four players up front are very quick and very technical.

“The game for me was a good game. They pressed man-to-man and we had to do that, too.

“Sometimes when you can’t win, you take a point by trying and trying – and we did that.

“We conceded a goal but the reaction was there. We conceded a second one and the reaction was there.

“We could have done many things better, but I think the character was there and that was important.”

As has been a hallmark of their season, Leicester had to dig in to get something from a fine game of football.

Fabio Carvalho opened the scoring on16 minutes after Wout Faes carelessly lost possession on the edge of the penalty box.

Carvalho did well to maintain composure and atone for his earlier penalty miss after Stephy Mavididi ended Regan Slater’s power-packed run inside the area.

Vardy equalised from the spot after 31 minutes when Jean Michael Seri was controversially adjudged to have upended Abdul Fatawu.

A finely balanced second half swung the way of the hosts on 61 minutes after Annas Zaroury’s lovely left-footed hit arrowed into the bottom-right corner.

But Hull’s celebrations lasted just two minutes as Vardy added a second when he sharply controlled Fatawu’s perfect pass before flighting the ball into the roof of the net.

Maresca said: “I was very happy with the reaction. Sometimes it’s important you see the reaction, and we saw that.

“You have to adapt. We made some mistakes but, overall, we continued to try until the end.

“What they (his players) have done is not normal and when we had nine points more (at the top of the league) it was not normal.

“We are very happy where we are and we still have nine games to go.”

On Vardy, Maresca added: “He has the most important thing in football, which is to score goals.

“We have to manage him because of his age. For sure, he’s going to help us until the end.”

Hull are unbeaten in seven but they have drawn their last three league games and have been replaced by Norwich in the top six.

Head coach Liam Rosenior said: “That performance is going to stand us in good stead.

“I slept well last night because I know what this team are about. We did it our way against an outstanding team.

“There were a lot pleasing aspects. We let ourselves down with momentary lapses of concentration, but our players are young.

“We make naïve decisions at time but in our naivety there’s a fearlessness and bravery to our game.

“We need to peak now. The players are showing me that they are learning and improving.

“If they can keep doing that we will get to where we want to be.”

Rosenior added: “We have gone up against an outstanding team at this level so I’m delighted.

“If you look how the team and the club has grown in the last 18 months, I’m so excited and proud to be part of his process.

“We’re all in this together and that was an outstanding afternoon for the football club.

“It’s a points accumulation, but these players are showing me they are improving all the time.

“We should have won the game from our performance – I just need to nudge them two or three more per cent and then we’ll get there.”

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