Leicester City – Championship Season Preview 2006/07 – Leicester City

Leicester City

Odds: 20/1

Last Five Seasons

2005/06 – 16 (Championship), 2004/05 – 15 (Championship), 2003/04 – 18 (Premiership, Relegated), 2002/03 – 2 (Championship, Promoted), 2001/02 – 20 (Premiership, Relegated).

2005/06 Cup Progress

FA Cup Fourth Round vs Southampton (h) – lost 1-0.
Carling Cup Fourth Round vs Bolton Wanderers (a) – lost 2-1 after extra time.

Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Iain Hume, Mark de Vries (strikers) and Joey Gudjohnsson (midfield) – 9 goals each.

Players In

Andy Johnson (West Bromwich Albion – Free), Darren Kenton (Southampton – Free), Josh Low (Northampton Town – Free), Gareth McAuley (Lincoln City – Free).

Players Out

Lee Morris (Released), Joey Gudjonsson (Released), Ashley Chambers (Released).

Leicester City have struggled for the past two seasons at Championship level following their relegation from the Premiership at the end of the 2003/04 season and have appointed a fourth manager during that time.

It will be up to Rob Kelly, who took over the position full time in January, to succeed where Micky Adams, Dave Bassett and Craig Levein failed. He has appointed Patrick McCarthy as the club captain for next season after he deputised for Danny Tiatto for most of last term. Midfielder Tiatto has committed himself to the Walker’s Stadium for another year despite being stripped of the captaincy. The 33 year old former Australia international has made 55 appearances for the Foxes following his move from Manchester City in July 2004.

Following a lower mid table finish last season, Kelly has had to wheel and deal on a budget, despite the high expectations of the fans. Out of contract midfielders Andy Johnson and Josh Low joined the club from West Bromwich Albion and Northampton Town respectively. Johnson made 143 appearances for the Baggies during his four year stay and won 15 Welsh caps before retiring from international football in 2004. Former Cardiff City midfielder Low, who joined Northampton Town in 2003 for £165,000, has also represented Wales at under 21 level.

Kelly swooped to sign defender Darren Kenton after his contract at Southampton expired. The 27 year old former Norwich City player spent two months on loan with the Foxes at the end of the 2004/05 season, making 11 appearances for the club.

Further defensive cover arrived in Gareth McAuley, a Northern Ireland international who signed on a free transfer from Lincoln City. The 26 year old spent two seasons at Sincil Bank after signing from Coleraine and twice helped the Imps reach the play offs.

Verdict

It could be another frustrating season for the Foxes although Iain Hume and Matty Fryatt should score enough goals to improve on last season’s sixteenth place finish.

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