The manager of Premier League side Leicester City FC Craig Shakespeare has asked that the team want more UEFA Champions League football following their strong display but eventual exit after facing Atletico Madrid.
The Foxes fought hard but they crashed out in the quarter final stage. They lost narrowly in the first leg in Spain but put up a spirited performance in the return leg in England. The final aggregate score was 2-1.
“We had them rattled with the effort and commitment we showed. It’s no discredit to lose to a team of that calibre. I’ve just said to the players that they should want more of this and they’ve agreed that that’s what they want.
“All players want to play at the highest level but we have to get back to winning ways in the Premier League now,” the manager said.
Atletico pressed in the first half as they wanted an early goal to sink their hosts. After losing a few chances, Saul Niguez’s headers did it for the Spanish outfit. It meant Leicester required three goals to progress.
The second half saw the hosts come out to attack and Jamie Vardy’s goal gave them hope of something special. They gave their best but it was not enough to break the Atletico wall.
Shakespeare commended the team, adding that conceding an early goal made it a higher mountain to climb.
Only Leeds United have gone farther than Leicester in their debut season in the Champions League. They reached the last four in 2000/01. Leicester followed the footpath of Chelsea, Liverpool, and Spurs who reached the last eight in their debuts.
Leicester would not be making Europe next season as they are far from the playoff spot. It has been a mixed season for them starting poorly in their Premier League title defence, after miraculously winning last year, losing their manager Claudio Ranieri and forging ahead with the current coach.