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Claude Puel: Leicester to carry on in Srivaddhanaprabha’s memory

UK Sport | Published:

The Foxes drew with Burnley as they paid tribute to their late chairman.

Leicester boss Claude Puel insists the club will forever play for late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha following an emotional day at the Foxes.

They were held to a 0-0 draw by Burnley on Saturday in the first home game since the death of the owner.

Son and vice chairman Aiyawatt, known at Top, was tearful as he saluted the fans from the pitch after the game as the players did a lap of the pitch to thank the fans.

Srivaddhanaprabha died along with four others when his helicopter crashed after taking off from the stadium two weeks ago.

A video tribute was played while thousands of fans marched from the city centre to the King Power Stadium before the game.

Puel said: “It was a special day, a special match. It was important to have it with our fans and to give our best to our chairman.

“I think our desire in the club is to continue this way. His dream, his work,  changed a lot of lives. All the people want to continue to perform for him and his family.

“It was different to last week. Against Cardiff it was the first game and another emotion.

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“They learned a lot about themselves. They have showed their maturity in this game. It was a good thing to repeat this concentration and focus.

“After the game it was pure emotion. It was a fantastic connection.

“This connection and to see the former players and managers come back to honour the chairman shows what a man he was.”

On the pitch, Matt Lowton cleared off the line from Jamie Vardy and Rachid Ghezzal hit the bar in the first half. It was the first game of the season Leicester failed to score.

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The majority of the squad flew to Thailand to attend the funeral, returning on Tuesday and Puel felt they did well after two difficult weeks.

He added: “You cannot train in good condition this week but the most important thing was to show this mentality and to give our best.”

Burnley are now winless in their last five games and are just a point above the relegation zone.

Boss Sean Dyche revealed he came to the King Power Stadium on Friday to pay his own respects.

He said: “I think it’s a strange thing about rivalry and fans in football. There are things that are bigger than that and this was bigger than that.

“I came down last night and amount of literally stuff, Leicester stuff, an incredible amount, it took me by surprise. I’d seen it on the news but I didn’t realise how much there is. I think that’s been an incredible thing.

“It was just me my two captains, club captain Tom Heaton and my acting captain Ben Mee.

“We just came down to pay a bit of respect, but under the radar. It’s not about us but I thought it was relevant and important.

“We had a moment. We came down to the memorial site which was quite breathtaking– I was surprised by how big it was and just the feeling.”

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