De Laet aware of pressure
Leicester City summer signing Ritchie De Laet insists that he is ready to handle the pressure that accompanies playing for a promotion favourite.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 16/07/12 4:21pm
Leicester City summer signing Ritchie De Laet insists that he is ready to handle the pressure that accompanies turning out for one of the Championship's promotion favourites.
The Foxes are heavily backed to earn a return to the Premier League in 2012/13, with Nigel Pearson's side fancied by many to take the second tier title.
De Laet is among those to have been drafted in to help aid the club in their quest to book a place back among England's elite.
He appreciates that a highly-competitive division will be difficult to conquer, but claims everyone at the King Power Stadium is in optimistic mood heading into the new season.
"The three clubs that came down - Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves - are big clubs, plus you've got the likes of Blackpool, Cardiff, Middlesbrough and all the other sides that are up there time and time again, including Hull and Ipswich," De Laet, who has penned a three-year deal with the Foxes, told Sky Sports.
"So it is going to be a tough year for everyone in the Championship and competition for not just automatic promotion, but the play-off places as well is going to be fierce.
"I don't think that the 'favourites' tag will bother the lads too much because they played with that on their shoulders last season.
"There are some very good and experienced players here that know how to play with pressure and they showed in the second half of the season how good they are.
"The club has a great stage to build on, with the stadium, squad of players, fan base and just the city in general yearning for top-flight football.
"It will be a big challenge, but it is one that everyone connected to the club is looking forward to."
The Foxes open up the new season at home to Peterborough United and De Laet admits Pearson's men cannot afford to take the attack-minded Posh lightly.
He added: "They were only promoted to the Championship the season before last and did ever so well last season, so they'll be looking to build on that.
"It will be a tough game, but hopefully an exciting one because Peterborough don't tend to sit back and defend wherever they play."