Blogs & Opinion


Kevin Phillips blogs on Leicester's 'bizarre' promotion and defeat to Brighton

Kevin Phillips Posted 9th April 2014 view comments

Tuesday night’s match with Brighton was supposed to be a celebration for Leicester - but instead it was disappointing to say the least.

We’d secured promotion to the Premier League over the weekend, with QPR and Derby losing on Saturday after we’d beaten Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, and nearly 30,000 fans were at the King Power to enjoy themselves. And we let them down.

Leicester celebrated promotion to the Premier League at training

Leicester celebrated promotion to the Premier League at training

Brighton beat us 4-1, ending our 21-game unbeaten run – which had begun way back in December, coincidently, following a defeat to Brighton – and gave us a huge wake-up call.

Virtually the whole squad had gone out and celebrated on Saturday, which is natural, but perhaps wasn’t the right thing to do. In hindsight it would have been better if we had to beat Brighton to secure promotion – but, either way, I’m sure there won’t be another performance like that between now and the end of the season.

Bizarre

Looking back on Saturday, it was a strange situation.

We’d got our job done by beating Wednesday at home and just had to sit around and wait to see how QPR and Derby got on against Bournemouth and Middlesbrough respectively.

To be honest, I fancied both results to go our way. Bournemouth are top of the form table and it’s always tough going down there, while Middlesbrough is another tough place to go; the Riverside is never that full but the supporters get behind their team and they have players who can hurt you.

I was watching Soccer Saturday at home and it was an odd afternoon, flicking between the scores and a couple of other things on the telly.

When Bournemouth had a man sent off with 25 minutes left I thought QPR might get back into it but credit to Bournemouth for holding on.

Then, when our promotion was confirmed my phone didn’t stop beeping with people texting congratulations. I had a few celebratory drinks with the family and it was a good feeling to have secured promotion.

It was a bizarre way to go up and the first time I’ve been promoted in that way but, nonetheless, it’s been a great achievement from the players.

Business

Some of the lads that live in Leicester got together for a celebration but, living about an hour away, it wasn’t feasible for me to get over there. However, on Monday morning we had a meeting and the gaffer congratulated the whole club on getting into the Premier League.

And then it was business as usual to train and prepare for the match against Brighton.

That game didn’t go as we planned but the celebrations are out of the way now and we’ll be back down to business when we head to Reading on Monday night.

The first goal for the club this season was to get promotion and the second was to go up as champions.

We’ve been top of the table since Boxing Day so to not go up as league winners will put a bit of a downer on the end of the season.

It’s going to be difficult because Burnley are hot on our heels now but it’s in our own hands and we need to get back to the way we were playing before Brighton and crack on. That’s our main aim now. 

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: Costa's made a difference

Diego Costa has shown the impact he can have at Chelsea, but injuries are a worry, says Jamie Redknapp....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Jeff Stelling

Stelling: Fears for Leeds

Jeff Stelling is worried that headline-making Leeds could end up slipping back into League One. ...

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Chelsea agree to loan Fernando Torres to AC Milan for two years, while Liverpool's Daniel Agger is linked with Brondby.

Torres heading for Milan

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will have a medical at AC Milan on Saturday ahead of an agreed two-year loan deal.

Premier League preview

Chelsea travel to Everton for Saturday Night Football, while Super Sunday features Tottenham against Liverpool and Leicester versus Arsenal.

Top-four target for van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has set Manchester United an initial target of a top-four finish in this season's Premier League.

UEFA to revamp seeding system

UEFA has confirmed it is close to changing the seeding system for the group stages of the Champions League.

Features

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Saturday’s opponents Chelsea might have expected Everton’s Romelu Lukaku to come back to haunt them, but Jose Mourinho surely thought he’d seen the back of Samuel Eto’o. Instead he’s back in the Premier League and eyeing another challenge in his remarkable career.

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.