Leicester interim head coach Adam Sadler would not be drawn on reports suggesting Jesse Marsch is in advanced talks to take charge at the King Power Stadium as he reflected on a “deeply disappointing” 1-0 home defeat to relegation rivals Bournemouth.
England midfielder James Maddison was guilty of gifting the Cherries the only goal, playing a blind back pass which was picked off by Philip Billing before he fired beyond Daniel Iversen five minutes before half-time.
But Bournemouth were worthy winners having created a string of chances throughout the first half and early in the second, with Leicester only belatedly coming to life after attacking substitutions around the hour mark and still then failing to carve out any clear opportunities.
If Marsch is the man to replace Brendan Rodgers on a more permanent basis, the American will have seen the scale of the challenge he would face in trying to keep the Foxes, now without a win in eight league games, in the top flight only seven years after they won it.
“I’m not going to speculate on potential new managers,” Sadler said. “As it stands, the job Mike (Stowell) and I have been tasked with is to prepare this team the best we can. Whatever the club decide to do going forward is absolutely their preogative.
“The focus has been Mike and I giving these players the best version of ourselves to approach this challenge. We know it’s a big challenge and it’s one we’re up for. We’ve just been told by the club to do the work until told otherwise.”
Sadler has now overseen two home defeats since Rodgers was sacked last weekend and the frustration of the fans was clear as boos rang out at the final whistle before some chants of ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’.
“I think it’s fair to say there’s a little lack of confidence in the group at this moment,” Sadler said. “It’s disappointing but we have to move on from this quickly.
“We’re in a fight, that’s clear to see, and I think it’s really important to make sure the players stay united and ready for what’s ahead.
“I thought there was a great energy in the stadium at kick off and then in the early part of the game and we really appreciated that support. At the end of the game they made their feelings known, we have to accept that.
“We haven’t been able to produce a performance they can be happy with and I think that’s fair comment.”
Bournemouth, who started the day only one place above Leicester in 18th but finished it up in 15th, looked the more purposeful and organised of the two sides as they carved out early chances for Billing and Dominic Solanke.
A flurry of opportunities then followed at the start of the second half and Gary O’Neil’s only frustration was that his side did not put the game to bed.
“I was pleased with a lot of it,” he said. “I think it should have been more comfortable scoreline-wise.
“The bi-product of it staying 1-0 was that in the end Leicester throw caution to the wind and you have to show a resilience, a gritty determination to make sure you leave with the three points we definitely deserved and the lads managed to do that.”
It was a fourth league win in eight for Bournemouth and O’Neil said his side were in a “good spot” as they try to move away from trouble.
“Away wins in the Premier League feel very big, all wins for AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League feel big,” he said.
“But an away win at this time of the season, and the fact it’s against a team in and around you, it has a big feel to it.”