Leicester manager Claude Puel frustrated by Newport FA Cup upset
Last Updated: 06/01/19 8:37pm
Leicester manager Claude Puel was a frustrated man after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two Newport County on Sunday.
Newport delivered a huge shock at a rocking Rodney Parade to beat Leicester 2-1 in the third round tie and increase the pressure on Puel.
The Frenchman was criticised for fielding a weakened side in the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City last month, and he made seven changes to his team in south Wales.
But a defiant Puel said: "I think we had a good team with eight who played winning the title with Leicester, and a lot of experienced players and quality on the pitch.
"I think we had enough quality on the pitch to qualify, I don't want to look for excuses about this.
"I think we lost together, we are all together disappointed and frustrated after this game, because it was an objective for us. This competition was important."
Leicester beat Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton over the Christmas period but they also lost at home to Cardiff, so this was a Welsh double over the Foxes.
County bridged a gap of 74 places on the league ladder after Jamille Matt's early header was cancelled out eight minutes from time, Rachid Ghezzal's leveller having seemingly spared the Premier League visitors.
But three minutes later Marc Albrighton handled Vashon Neufville's cross on the corner of the box and Padraig Amond stroked home the resulting penalty.
It was no less than Newport, 12th in Sky Bet League Two and with only one win in all competitions since the end of November, deserved and rekindled memories of their cup heroics from last season.
With Leicester seventh in the Premier League and in no immediate danger of being dragged into a relegation battle, this will be seen as a missed opportunity for the club's supporters to enjoy a cup run.
But Puel believes the only way to remedy the setback is to get back to winning ways at the King Power Stadium against Southampton next weekend.
He added: "We have to prepare for the next game which will be another tough game but we don't have another choice but to forget this game.
"It will be difficult but we must try to put all our concentration on Southampton."
On strengthening the squad this month, Puel said: "In the transfer window, we will see what can happen, but the winter transfer window doesn't mean good players are available.
"We must focus on the players we do have so I think we'll see in the summer. Then it'll be better to find the right solution to improve the team."