It was a hard-earned point for an off the pace Leicester City, said Craig Shakespeare after his side’s 0-0 draw against AFC Bournemouth.
Leicester City failed to win their fifth Premier League game in a row, somehow salvaging a point in a game that they should have lost after a terrible first-half show.
It was AFC Bournemouth who seized the initiative, starting the game as they wanted to carry on for the rest of the 90 minutes, though Kasper Schmeichel’s excellence denied them on not one but numerous occasions.
The Foxes did turn things around late in the second-half, seeing more of the ball and retaining it better; however, the late onslaught never quite served their cause, with the home side ensuring that they didn’t gift the game to their guests.
Speaking after the draw at Dean Court, Shakespeare admitted that it was a hard-earned point for his players, who, though they never quite got going, were thankfully resilient enough. He added that he has no choice but to be happy with what he got. He said:
"“It is a hard earned point. Of course I thought Bournemouth started really well and struggled to get to the pace of the game.“The momentum was with them. We had to show a lot of resilience in terms of defending.“We couldn’t get our usual passing game going. Also offensively we would have liked to have caused Bournemouth more problems.“On reflection we have to be happy with a point and Bournemouth will be disappointed but we have all been involved in football to know you have games like that.“We had a great chance at the end, whether it would have been unjust, through Shinji to snatch all three points.“We have to be mindful that Bournemouth played well but we showed a lot of resilience. We got a clean sheet."
Craig Shakespeare then discussed how Leicester City have done comparatively better against the weaker oppositions. The 2015/16 Premier League champions have picked their five points against Brighton and Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town and AFC Bournemouth, and with a similar set of easy fixtures coming up, the boss thinks there are points to be taken after the international break.
"“We have taken five points now from Brighton, Huddersfield and Bournemouth. We have had a real tough start to the season in terms of the top teams we have played and now we have got a chance, once the internationals come back, to regroup and really bring some momentum to our season.”"
AFC Bournemouth could probably have won the game had the referee given a penalty for Danny Simpson’s handball. The Leicester City manager feels it was a tough decision to make.
"“We had that happen to us last week,” said Shakespeare.“People say it evens itself out but I am not is sure it does. I think it was a hard call for the referee because it happened so quickly.“There wasn’t a lot of movement in Danny’s arm. I am sure the referee if he had seen it, he made a quick decision and didn’t give the penalty.”"
Finally, Shakey also spoke of Riyad Mahrez, who was dropped to the bench today for Demarai Gray. The Algerian was brought on for the final 20 minutes of the game, making an instant impact. The gaffer was impressed.
"“We know his quality and his professionalism I have spoken about all season,” said Shakespeare.“In most games the last 20 minutes it opens up. To utilise him in a way that was maybe to his advantage today.“You could see his quality on the ball and what I liked was he allowed us to get up the pitch a bit more in the last 20 minutes.“In the first half our ball retention wasn’t good enough but in the last 20 minutes we had a few opportunities which were few and far between.”"