Claude Puel believes Leicester City have had a good season by finishing in mid-table and the manager is already looking forward to next term, despite speculation surrounding his future.
Puel replaced Craig Shakespeare in October and looked to be guiding the 2015-16 Premier League champions towards a European push before their campaign tailed away, with Leicester now winless in five.
Although the Leicester board have given Puel their backing, rumours persist that Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez or David Wagner of Huddersfield could take the Frenchman’s job.
At least one banner supporting former boss Nigel Pearson could be seen during Saturday’s defeat to West Ham, before many fans left early and ignored the team’s end-of-season lap of honour.
This has not dampened Puel’s spirits, though, as he calls for supporters to have a sense of perspective and starts planning for next season.
“I’m as frustrated as [the fans] are, but we need perspective because we are going to finish mid-table,” he told a news conference. “I think a lot of teams would like to finish in our position.
“I finished eighth in the table last season with a League Cup final [at Southampton], and in mid-table – ninth or 10th, perhaps eighth – I hope, this season, without the possibility of working with a pre-season or without doing anything in the transfer window.
“We have tried to develop some young players and lay a foundation. I’m looking forward to having a full pre-season and having the chance to strengthen our squad for the next season – it’s important.
“It is not possible in six months to have all the possibility to perform like a great team. We have to work together with patience and we can build something strong for the future. We need stability for the future for next season and the seasons beyond.
“If we finish mid-table, it’s not bad because it was a tough season, with difficulties at the beginning and difficulties to finish the season that we have to manage.”
Leicester face a tough task if they are to end the season on a high and in the top half, welcoming Arsenal to the King Power Stadium on Wednesday before travelling to Tottenham on the final day.