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Cardiff 0-1 Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel ‘immensely proud’ of Foxes players

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said he was “shaking” in the warm-up before an emotional 1-0 win at Cardiff.

It was the Foxes’ first game since owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others were killed in a helicopter crash at King Power Stadium.

Schmeichel was one of the first on the scene on 27 October.

“I am glad we got three points for him,” said the Dane, 31, who was in tears during the minute’s silence before kick-off.

Schmeichel, who was part of Leicester’s Premier League title-winning team in 2015-16, told Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker: “Today was difficult.

“Coming out for the warm-up was tough. The first 10 minutes I couldn’t steady myself, I was shaking a little bit.”

During the pre-match warm-up, Leicester’s players wore T-shirts bearing an image of Srivaddhanaprabha’s face and the words “The Boss”.

Leicester players and backroom staff lined up around the centre circle for a minute’s silence with the Cardiff team after the laying of wreaths, while both sets of fans unfurled banners.

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Emotional Leicester team observe silence at Cardiff

Demarai Gray scored the winner on 55 minutes and removed his jersey to reveal an undershirt bearing the words “For Khun Vichai”. Schmeichel ran the length of the field to join the entire team in the celebrations.

After the final whistle, the Leicester players and backroom team stood and applauded with their fans long after the game had ended.

‘Overwhelming sense of pride’

“That was a tough game, not just on the pitch but mentally,” Schmeichel said.

“There are a lot of exhausted people in there now but I am proud of this team and the club. The way everyone has handled themselves has been unbelievable.

“It has been hard. We have tried for a few hours a day to be professional and train hard, but everyone wanted to play and win for his family. His family have been strong, [with] the courage they have had.

“I feel just an overwhelming sense of pride of being part of the family that Vichai built and the extended family of Leicester City.”

Leicester players wore special t-shirts in their warm-up in tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha<!–

Leicester players wore special T-shirts in their warm-up in tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha

The whole squad is travelling to Bangkok for Srivaddhanaprabha’s funeral, which started on Saturday. Manager Claude Puel said they will arrive back from Thailand in midweek.

The home game against Burnley on Saturday 10 November will be their first game at King Power Stadium since the accident.

“It was nice to get a win to take to Thailand now and hopefully we did his family proud,” Schmeichel added.

“You couldn’t ask for a better chairman. There are few people who come along in this life that have an impact on you. He had that on me and so many people, and the outpouring of grief around the world shows that.

“Everyone grieves in different ways and the opportunity was given [to go the funeral] and we wanted to go. We are a family and wanted to pay our last respects together.”

Leicester players<!–

Leicester players and staff stood to applaud their travelling fans long after the final whistle

‘Difficult week coming up’

Club captain Wes Morgan said the Leicester team “felt the pressure” before the game.

“You can see by our reaction at the end of the game how much we wanted to get the win and do it for the chairman,” he said.

“We were very close to the chairman. We know what his wishes were. He used to come down at home games, have a joke and laugh, always say ‘I want a win and three points’.

“We did that today. It has not been an easy week. We had to try to hold our emotions in today and do the best we could.”

Puel said it had been “tough” to prepare for the game, but that it had been “important to find the good balance between emotion and concentration”.

He continued: “I want to congratulate the players. Today is the first step, now we can continue.

“We will have a difficult week or so. We go to Bangkok for the funeral, we come back in the middle of the week, we have a training session to prepare against Burnley. That will be our first game at home with the fans.”

News Reporter

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