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01 Oct 2002

Micky Adams has been named as the Nationwide League First Division Manager of the Month after guiding Leicester through September unbeaten, keeping the pressure on early leaders Portsmouth.

The former Brighton boss, who joined Leicester as Dave Bassett's assistant almost a year ago, has seen his side make an excellent start in their bid to return to the Barclaycard Premiership, having lost just once in 11 games.

September began with an amazing comeback against Wimbledon, which saw The Foxes run out 3-2 winners at Selhurst Park after going 2-0 down within 16 minutes. A 3-1 triumph over Midlands rivals Derby followed a Worthington Cup win over Hull, and victories over Bradford and Wolves came either side of their 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Leicester's next match sees them return to the Steel city to face the Owls in the second round of the Worthington Cup on Wednesday night.

But the key to Leicester's success so far this season has been their excellent home form, which has seen them win six out of six at their new residence, The Walkers Stadium.

news/2866Iain Dowie and news/2867Denis Smith claim awards for Divisions Two and Three

Adams and his men are still hot on the heels of Harry Redknapp's Pompey side, who have also lost just one league game and currently top the First Division table, two points ahead of Leicester who are two points clear of third-placed Norwich - their opponents on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to this week, the Leicester boss revealed his thoughts on Saturday's important victory, his team's form so far and the financial situation at the club.

In reference to the 1-0 win over Wolves, he said: "Well there weren't too many chances in the game, both defences really were on top but we had a little bit of fortune in the first five minutes, when Paul Dickov got brought down for the penalty, I don't think there was any real doubt about it. One chance, that was enough to win the game."

Leicester were reduced to ten men midway through the second half following Muzzy Izzet's sending-off, and Adams was forced to reassess his team's tactics.

"Well I mean I had a decision to make, whether to leave two upfront and maybe try and get a goal, but having seen the game for something like 65 minutes I didn't feel like we were going to score another goal," he said.

"So it was a simple case of getting a centre-forward off, bolstering the midfield two banks of four leave one man upfront and just try and get bodies up there to support him the best we could."

Leicester's superb start to the new season has been built on their solid record at their new home, the Walkers Stadium, and Adams is delighted that his team is gelling so well in front of the fans.

"It's always pleasing to get your home form right because the majority of the fans see you play at home, they like to see you win games and it gives you confidence and belief that you can win them.

"We've won six out of six so far so the home form is spot on really. You are judged mainly on your home form as well so having got those points on the board our fans will be going away very, very happy. What we need to do now is to try and achieve that sort of consistency away from home."

As for the form of Leicester's First Division rivals, Adams added: "I think that the top of the table is starting to take some sort of shape and semblance. I think Portsmouth look a very strong side at the moment, they're playing with a lot of confidence and they've got what the rest of us haven't got - they've got the ability to go out there and improve their squad if they have to because they've got the financial power to do so.

"Norwich are playing particularly well, I've been impressed with what I've seen of them this season, I think Nigel's doing a great job there. I still do feel that the likes of Ipswich and Derby and Wolves who we beat Saturday will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season."

The cost of relegation to the Nationwide League has been well-publicised, especially with Leicester's Midlands rivals Derby recent financial problems, and Adams admitted that the situation means he may have to trim his squad further.

"I think everybody's fully aware of the financial situation at the football club and it is a situation that worsens as the days go by," he said. "We've got ourselves into a situation where we're paying Premiership wages to First Division footballers, and that doesn't help anybody.

"From my personal point of view I'd like to keep everybody together because I do think that we are capable of having a decent season but I'm fully aware of the financial situation at the club and I'm sure that the directors will be saying if we get a decent offer for any of our players then we would have to consider it."

Micky Adams

T: 01283 576350 F: 01283 576351 E: League Managers Association 2014
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