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Focus: Sven-factor already proving fruitful

It's amazing what three matches can do.

Since Paulo Sousa was shown the exit at the Walkers, the Foxes have picked up seven points from a possible nine - and it's no coincidence.

In a surreal turn of events former England chief Sven-Goran Eriksson was brought in to turn around the ship.

A passable display at home to Hull saw City pick up a point from the Swede's first match in charge, but last night's dominant performance at Elland Road was a timely reminder that Leicester do indeed have what it takes to mix it up at the top.

Not wanting to get ahead of things though, of course. In reality City have only just climbed out of the Championship relegation zone and have a mountain to climb if they are to fulfil the new owners' wishes of promotion this year.

Sven's arrival has coincided nicely with the capture of two Premier League loanees in Tottenham's Kyle Naughton and Aston Villa centre back Curtis Davies.

It was Naughton who grabbed City's first goal last night for only the second time in his short league career, a player who created waves at Sheffield United after breaking through the Blades' youth ranks in style.

Davies, well out of favour at Villa Park under Martin O'Neill, was snapped up by Eriksson on a one-month deal last week and has already delighted the Blue Army with two performances of real quality at the heart of defence.

The deal currently stands at a solitary one month, and the chances of extending it remain to be seen. Davies is simply here to get some matches under his belt for Gerard Houllier to see how he fits into his long-term plans.

Former England forward Darius Vassell should complete his move to the Walkers shortly as Eriksson looks to strengthen a forward line which has struggled this season.

The club have also been linked with moves for West Brom's Ishmael Miller and Blackburn striker Jason Roberts, encouraging targets most would agree.

And all of this naturally points to the work of Sven. Obviously without our owners' money none of this would have been possible, but it seems as though players, good ones at that, genuinely want to play for this football club now. Eriksson will always be a strong lure, and long may it continue.

There's a long way to go yet, but optimism seems to have taken a drastic turnaround in the space of just three matches. And rightly so - a lot has changed already since Sousa's departure.

Eriksson was buoyant after last night's match, saying: "We played very good football for almost 90 minutes.

"We could have killed the game after 20-25 minutes, we didn't but the players did very well.

"It was 40 minutes before Leeds had their first shot and that's very good from our point of view.

"I'm happy for the players and the club. If we can keep playing football like we did last night I think the future is good."

Amen to that sir...

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 20 2010

Time: 12:23PM


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