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Enough games left for Leicester to beat drop, says Craig Shakespeare
Caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare wants managerless Leicester to harness the spirit of their Great Escape to beat the drop this season.
The crumbling Premier League champions sacked Claudio Ranieri on Thursday following five successive top flight defeats.
They host Liverpool on Monday having slipped into a relegation battle and have not scored a league goal in 2017.
Two years ago, under Nigel Pearson, the Foxes won seven of their last nine games to survive, having been bottom and seven points adrift of the safety line.
A season later they won a shock title by 10 points after Ranieri replaced Pearson in July 2015, and Shakespeare wants to recreate their survival success.
He said: "It would be nice to get that again. It was a great time then in terms of we were written off. We are not written off now. There are enough games for this squad to win football matches and that is what we aim to do.
"In terms of getting teams prepared, I'd like to think my man-management style can do that. There are enough games there and this squad are good enough to get themselves out of this - that will be the message.
"Momentum is a big word in football. We had that last year. What I would say is they've trained well over the last few weeks especially. We've refocused ourselves."
Shakespeare admitted Ranieri's departure was a shock after Leicester's 2-1 Champions League last-16 defeat at Sevilla on Wednesday.
The Italian was dismissed 24 hours later with Shakespeare placed in charge, and he has hinted he would be keen on taking the job.
And the 53-year-old, who stayed at the King Power Stadium after Ranieri replaced Pearson, believes he can lead the Foxes to safety
He said: "Most definitely. They are frustrated and from speaking to them on a regular basis they are very frustrated with how things have gone this season.
"There is enough talent in that dressing room for us to go on a winning run."
Georginio Wijnaldum sustained a calf problem in training in the week but it is not expected to keep him out of the Liverpool side making the trip to the King Power Stadium.
However, centre-back Dejan Lovren remains a doubt having missed the last two matches with a knee problem.
The Croatia international flew to Germany to see a specialist this week but manager Jurgen Klopp insists there are no long-term worries regarding the injury.
"If it would have been completely simple it would not have taken this long time," he said.
"In the end we could not find the 100 per cent clue so we sent him to a specialist who found a few things, not directly in the knee where he had the pain.
"The knee is fine but the pain was there. They sorted these things around (it) and when I spoke to him he told me he felt really well when he was running outside.
"He will be very, very close - tight - for the Leicester game, but having him back in training is of course good for us."