Claude Puel praises tribute to late Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

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Leicester boss Claude Puel praised the tributes to late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after the Foxes returned to action at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes were held to a 0-0 draw by Burnley on Saturday, the first home game since Srivaddhanaprabha died with four others when his helicopter crashed outside the ground two weeks ago.

Former managers Claudio Ranieri, Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare attended while thousands of fans marched from the city centre to the game in memory of Srivaddhanaprabha and Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer who also lost their lives.

Puel said: “This connection and to see the former players and managers come back to honour the chairman shows the man he was.

“He was a nice man who was close to his manager and players. All the time he wanted to please people around him. He was generous, but not to offer money and other things, but generous with his feelings.

“The presence of the former managers and players, and the support of the fans shows the quality of this man.”

A poignant video showing Srivaddhanaprabha and the club’s achievements under him – winning the Sky Bet Championship and the Premier League – was played at the King Power Stadium ahead of the game.

The squad had watched it earlier in the week because Puel felt it would have been too emotional seeing it on Saturday.

“We saw this movie on Wednesday at the training ground. I think it was important to see this video before of course, but not on the day of the game,” he said.

“It was much easier to watch because it was a strong emotion and after the movie all the players and staff remained in silence and didn’t move for a long time. There was a lot emotion.

“I saw the fans watch the video in the stadium and perhaps at the beginning of game they cannot have all the support because of the emotion. It was our responsibility to start this game with the right intensity to give the people the chance to think about just the match.”

Jamie Vardy had the best chance to win the game but his first-half shot was cleared off the line by Matt Lowton.

Rachid Ghezzal hit the bar while Burnley, a point above the relegation zone, offered little threat as theirwinless run was extended to five games.

Boss Sean Dyche, who made a trip to Leicester on Friday to view the tributes to the crash victims, 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.

“The best thing – if there is a best thing, which is hard to say – is it reminds everyone, certainly me that beneath the gloss, the glamour, the winning etc, there is a club that’s part of the community – and an important part of the community.”

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