Leicester boss Dean Smith has urged his relegation-haunted players to ignore the fact that survival is out of their hands as they face their last chance to keep the club in the Premier League.
Smith’s side are on the brink of dropping into the Championship for the first time in nine years as they head into Sunday’s final game of the season against West Ham.
To avoid relegation, third-bottom Leicester have to beat West Ham at the King Power Stadium and hope that Everton, just outside the drop zone, draw or lose at home to Bournemouth.
Instead of letting the Everton scoreline dominate their thoughts, Smith wants Leicester, the 2016 Premier League champions, to concentrate on saving themselves.
“We have to win the game and not look at the Everton result until after the game. We have to do our job and see where it takes us,” he said on Friday.
“We can only control what we can do. We have to control our performance, help your team-mates out and go and get a good performance and a win.
“If we do our part we are looking at other people to help us, but we have to make sure we concentrate on what we do. It’s quite a simple message really and the lads have trained well so far.”
Several Leicester players, including England midfielder James Maddison and winger Harvey Barnes, have already been linked with moves if the club go down.
Smith, hired in April to replace Brendan Rodgers until the end of the season, did not want to discuss his own future beyond Sunday’s game.
Asked whether the outcome of the match would impact his future, Smith said: “Not at all, my future was to come in for seven weeks and eight games and that hasn’t changed.
“My future is exactly the same. That is a question to have after the game and not before it.”