Robert Huth: I'm Confident Foxes Can Thrive Under Cooper

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Robert Huth: I'm Confident Foxes Can Thrive Under Cooper

Former Leicester City defender Robert Huth has given his thoughts about the appointment of Steve Cooper at the King Power Stadium in an exclusive interview with Gambling.com.

After Enzo Maresca was poached by Chelsea following the Foxes’ promotion back to the Premier League, Leicester unveiled Cooper as their new boss on Thursday.

The former Nottingham Forest manager had been out of work since leaving Leicester’s rivals in the East Midlands last December.

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The UK betting sites have Leicester as the 1/2 favourites for relegation next term, but Huth believes Cooper is the right man for the job ahead of what is likely to be a battle at the bottom in 2024/25.

“We’ve been looking for a manager for a while, so it’s been dragging on a little bit, especially with pre-season just around the corner. It’s good for everyone to know who’s in charge,” Huth said.

“We’ve still got a decent squad, now with a decent manager. So hopefully it will work out.

"He’s been there, he’s been in the Premier League. He’s been fighting relegation, which in truth, I think that’s going to be our realistic challenge next season. 

"We’re not going to be pushing for Top 10, that’s very unlikely in my opinion.

“There’s quite a few managers that were available. I know there’s always been a process at Leicester. And if you look at the history of appointments, I think Leicester have done pretty well. So I’m confident that it’s going to be the case for us (with Cooper).”

Huth also admitted that he can understand why Maresca chose to leave Leicester after just one season with the club, who are favourites to be relegated on football betting sites.

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The German defender, who also played for Chelsea during his career, believes it would have been hard to turn down the Blues, who are among the favourites on new betting sites to secure a top-four finish. 

“It’s the world of football, isn’t it?” Huth added. 

“Can I be critical and say if I was in his position (Maresca’s), I wouldn’t have done the same? I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying that. Chelsea is a massive club. They gave him a long contract to have a big project.

“From our point of view,  we trusted him when he first signed. He was very unproven in men’s football, so we kind of gave him a chance. But that’s just the way it is. 

“In football, if you do well, other clubs look at you and how you do it. They want to nick your players, they want to nick your recruitment staff, they want to nick your manager.

“We’ve been in positions where we’ve done it to other clubs. So, it is what it is.”

Leicester’s status as the betting apps' favourites for the drop is in part because they face the prospect of a points deduction in the months ahead.

After breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules during their last spell in the top flight, the Foxes are in danger of being punished next term - and Huth wants to see the situation resolved quickly.

"In terms of morale, it just would be what it would be. But we certainly need to get that (the point deduction) sorted sooner rather than later," Huth said.

"It’s important for both recruitment and your strategy for the season, to find that out as soon as possible.”

Huth made 35 Premier League appearances in Leicester’s miraculous title-winning campaign of 2015/16.

And the ex-centre-back says he is delighted that his former team-mate Jamie Vardy has signed a new one-year deal with the club, even if he admits it will be hard for the 37-year-old to feature week in, week out.

"I think that could be a fair statement (that he won’t expect to start every game in the PL). But at the moment, it’s only Vardy and one other striker that we have. We are looking for other strikers as well. So depending on who we get in, that could have a big impact.

"However, if we do need a goal with 10 or 15 minutes to go I couldn’t wish for a better player to come on because he’s an impact player, that’s for sure."

Leicester's opening six games are ranked the third toughest, based on last season's league positions.

A home game with Tottenham Hotspur and former midfielder James Maddison opens their season, with their first game against Nottingham Forest scheduled for October 26.

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