SPORTS: Claude Puel sacked by Leicester City after 4-1 thrashing by Crystal Palace

Puel wasn’t popular with fans at the King Power (Image: PA)

(MIRROR Online) – The Frenchman has been handed his marching orders by Foxes chiefs following Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing by Crustal Palace.

Puel has won just four of 13 games at the King Power Stadium, losing seven – including the last four in succession.

Now, with Leicester having fallen to 12th in the table, the ex-Southampton boss has been axed, saying his goodbyes to staff at Belvoir Drive on Sunday morning.

A club statement declared: “Leicester City Football Club has today (Sunday) parted company with Claude Puel, who leaves his position as First Team Manager with immediate effect.

“The club would like to thank Claude for his efforts in leading the team during his 16 months in the role and wish him well in his future career.

“Assistant Manager Jacky Bonnevay also departs with the club’s best wishes.

“First Team Coaches Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler, supported by the club’s established backroom staff, will assume responsibility for the senior squad while the club begins the process of appointing a new manager.

“The Board will make no further comment until this process is complete.”

Puel took charge of 56 Premier League matches during his 16-month reign, winning 19 and losing 24.

The 57-year-old took charge in the East Midlands in October 2017, having been dumped by the Saints after a single season on the south coast.

Replacing Craig Shakespeare after a dismal start to the season, Puel steadied the ship and eventually led the side to a ninth place finish.

During the summer, Puel was tasked with adapting the Foxes style of play and was allowed to spend lavishly on the likes of James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira, Rachid Ghezzal and Caglar Soyuncu.

But Puel has come in for heavy criticism over his managerial style and his use of Jamie Vardy – with the ex-England striker questioning his tactics publicly.

After an embarrassing FA Cup defeat to Newport last month, Puel was told by Leicester chiefs that he was in no imminent danger.

There had been little desire at the club for more upheaval, following the tragic death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in October, in the helicopter crash which saw five passengers lose their lives.

And chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, son of Khun Vichai, was known to have been impressed with the sensitive way in which Puel guided the club following the tragedy that killed his father.

But after the emphatic home defeat to Palace saw Leicester lose their seventh game in nine, the pre-season target of finishing ‘best of the rest’ appears to have gone.

With morale among players said to be low, and the club now only eight points above the drop zone, chairman ‘Top’ – who watched the latest defeat in Thailand – has elected to act.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is already the red hot favourite with bookmakers to replace Puel.

But there are major questions over whether the ex-Liverpool chief can be persuaded to swap the Scottish giants for a return to the Premier League.

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