Dean Smith: Jamie Vardy still has the hunger and desire to do well for Leicester

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Jamie Vardy still has the spark to fire Leicester to safety, according to boss Dean Smith.

The Foxes manager feels he can get the best out of the 36-year-old as the 2016 champions battle to beat the drop.

Vardy has scored just once in the Premier League this season – in the 4-0 win at Wolves in October – but started Smith’s first game last weekend as the Foxes lost 3-1 at Manchester City.

He was replaced at half-time but, ahead of Wolves’ visit on Saturday, Smith backed the former England man to deliver.

“The hunger and desire are there. Are his legs there? I haven’t been able to dismiss his legs with what I’ve seen so far. I have no qualms in playing him,” Smith said, with Leicester second bottom and two points from safety.

“I don’t think he needs to adapt. He can still play that role of being off the shoulder and making the runs.

“The problem has been if the ball is not coming, and the ball hasn’t been coming too frequently. When that happens, you come a little deeper to get involved and that’s what I feel has happened.

“Vards doesn’t want to be rested, he just wants to go and play. We’ve been dragging him off the training ground, he’s been out doing extra finishing. It’s what I wanted to see.

“I spoke to Craig (Shakespeare, assistant manager), who has worked with him, to get an idea of what he was like and Craig spoke glowingly of him.

“He’s just become the first player in Leicester’s history to play 300 Premier League games, which tells you all you need to know about him.

“He’s 36 now so he will have to be managed, others will as well. I’ve said to them, the easy part for me is picking the team. That 11 are happy. The others are the important ones because we can have a strong bench to finish games for us.”

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