Ahead of Leicester's clash with Stoke on Saturday, Jamie Vardy talks about Riyad Mahrez's recent situation at the club
Jamie Vardy says Leicester have “moved on” from Riyad Mahrez’s transfer saga following a meeting among the players.
Mahrez had a spell away from the Foxes squad after failing to push through a move to Manchester City at the end of the January transfer window.
He missed training sessions and also games against Everton and Swansea before returning as a substitute in a 5-1 defeat to City and then starting in the FA Cup win over Sheffield United.
“It is what it is,” Vardy told Sky Sports ahead of Saturday’s live lunchtime clash with Stoke. “The bid came in, it was turned down, and you can understand his disappointment. But while he wasn’t here we were having to get on with it.
“We are all professionals and had to play without him. It happens if he is injured or on the bench, so we just focused on the games. He came back, got us in the dressing room, explained the situation, and you move on.
Live Premier League
February 24, 2018, 11:30am
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass
“Everyone is exactly the same, they know what they have to do and their jobs. It was Riyad who wanted the meeting and got everyone in the dressing room and explained the situation, which is kept behind closed doors between us, and as far as everyone else is concerned that’s that.
“You have to make sure it’s like that, with the dressing room we have got everyone is a close-knit group so for him personally to want to do that shows what he is about.”
Even without Mahrez to set up chances, Vardy has been in fantastic form lately, scoring in his last five games in a row.
He says he has adapted his game to suit the different tactics employed by new manager Claude Puel.
Leicester boss Claude Puel says highly-rated defender Harry Maguire is continuing to develop well at the club
“We were well known for counter attacking and he has wanted to give us a different aspect of playing to add to the counter-attacking, like keeping possession, a bit slower build-ups, and I have had to adapt to that because at times I have been playing as a lone striker so it’s not just all about balls over the top.
“I am having to help with the build-up and get involved in different ways.”
Should Vardy continue his current form he is likely to be in contention to feature for England at the World Cup in Russia this year.
Watch a preview of Saturday's Premier League games including Liverpool v West Ham and Leicester v Stoke
However, he is not yet thinking that far ahead, saying: “I know I need to be playing for Leicester and scoring on a regular basis to put me in with a shout of getting selected for the squad.
“My main priority is Leicester and see if that’s enough at the end of the season. I would love to be there playing for my country at the World Cup but first and foremost it’s about concentrating on Leicester and hopefully my performances give me a shout of getting in the squad.”
Looking ahead to the clash with Stoke, Vardy added: “We know it’s going to be tough. They have changed manager and picked up a few results and they will not be wanting to lose so they will be solid defensively and they have players who can hurt us on the attack, but we know that on our day and playing our football we can beat anyone.”
Watch Leicester v Stoke live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am on Saturday