Puel ‘sad’ to see Vardy step away from England duty

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Leicester boss Claude Puel admitted he is sad about Jamie Vardy’s decision to step away from international football but knows the Foxes must respect his decision.

The England forward was banned for the visit of his former club Fleetwood in the Carabao Cup second round on Tuesday.

Superb strikes from Christian Fuchs and Rachid Ghezzal and goals from Vicente Iborra and Kelechi Iheanacho saw the hosts win 4-0.

Vardy, who scored seven times in 26 caps, had announced he was making way for younger players in the Three Lions setup earlier on Tuesday – although he is open to a return should Gareth Southgate suffer an injury crisis.

He is eager to extend his club career and spend time with his family and Puel understands Vardy’s decision.

He said: “We discussed it about two or three weeks ago. He took his decision and we have to respect it.

Claude Puel with Jamie Vardy
Claude Puel admitted he is sad about Jamie Vardy’s decision to step away from international football (Mike Egerton/PA)

“But we have to respect his decision and now he dedicates his time to his club and will continue to give his best and hopefully win a trophy.”

Without Vardy, who joined the Foxes from Fleetwood for £1million in 2012, Leicester made light work of their opponents.

Fuchs scored his first goal in 542 days when his early half volley found the top corner and he teed up Iborra six minutes before the break to make it 2-0.

Iheanacho – who hit the woodwork twice – added a third before Ghezzal’s 20-yard effort capped the victory.

Puel added: “It was a very good professional performance. It’s never easy to play in the Cup. It’s always important to give our best to keep a good structure.”

Fleetwood mustered just one shot on target having made 11 changes from their 0-0 draw at Charlton.

It was never a contest and manager Joey Barton’s first defeat since the opening day loss to AFC Wimbledon.

He said: “It’s a totally different world coming to these Premier League grounds. Every day is a school day and I’ve learned an awful amount of lessons.

“The game is about levels and finance. We made changes for the game, not being disrespectful to the competition, but the expectation is not to win the Carabao Cup.

“We have to keep our form going and the priority for us is League One. If I was going to try to win the Carabao Cup and beat Leicester I wouldn’t have made 11 changes.”

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