Following an indifferent start to their 2011/2012 npower Championship campaign, Leicester City face joint table toppers Southampton at the King Power Stadium this Saturday. With a mere 4 points from 4 games lying in lowly 15th place in the league table, the Foxes have looked far from promotion candidates so far but manager Sven Goran Eriksson is remaining upbeat. Fans displayed their disappointment through jeers at the final whistle of their opening home league fixture where they lost 2-0 to last season’s play-off final losers Reading. However, there are plenty of reasons why City fans should remain confident.
The Leicester City owners and Eriksson have both shown their commitment and determination to achieve promotion this season by flexing a significant amount of financial muscle. The Foxes have already spent well in excess of £10 million over the summer in transfers and remain in the hunt for another striker. The club smashed their record signing by acquiring the services of celebrated centre half Matt Mills from Reading for a hefty £5 million before handing him the captain’s armband. Sven also managed to secure the signatures of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichal, John Pantsil, Lee Peltier, Sean St Ledger, Paul Konchesky, Michael Ball, Neil Danns and David Nugent for differing fee’s respectively.
Sven’s high profile acquisitions also included the loan signings of Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson and former Eastlands midfielder Gelson Fernandes who have contributed to a rise in the club’s reputation throughout the country to within the group of promotion favourites. Should Eriksson’s tactical magic work off onto the players, big spending Leicester have one of, if not the, best side on paper in the division. When last season’s top scorer Andy King starts on the bench for the first 4 games of the season, the team’s quality is clear and with a cheque book like that the potential is always there.
It will be difficult for them to beat the best of the best in the Championship this season with teams like West Ham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Blackpool and Reading to name just a few all fighting it out for promotion, but if Eriksson can put together all of the pieces on the Leicester City jigsaw, they are sure to return to the Premier League sooner rather than later.