Football

Jamie Vardy, left, believes Claudio Ranieri's decision to give his Leicester players a week off in February was key to their Premier League title triumph.

Jamie Vardy cites mid-season break as key factor in Leicester title triumph

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Jamie Vardy believes Claudio Ranieri's decision to give his Leicester players a week off in February was key to their title victory.

England striker Vardy and the Foxes are 10 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League having wrapped up the title last week.

They lifted the trophy on Saturday, after Vardy's brace helped them beat Everton 3-1, and go to Chelsea in Sunday's season finale.

The Foxes were given a break by Ranieri after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Tottenham and Vardy feels the Italian's decision gave them a crucial advantage over their rivals.

"It worked out perfectly. No-one was going to go on a seven-day bender. It was there to relax with family and that's all we did until we got back to training," said Vardy, speaking at the launch of his V9 Academy to help non-league players earn professional contracts.

"We'd been knocked out of the FA Cup, the gaffer gave us a week off to completely forget about everything and recharge the batteries.

"We all ventured off, quite a few of us went to Dubai together as a team, and I think that moment, for him to even think about doing that, showed what he'd thought of us as a team and how much work we'd already put in, so to get those batteries recharged for that week and come back fighting stronger was a massive part.

"It was a great idea. I remember sitting on a sun lounger and in the same hotel, Sunderland were there running up and down the beach doing fitness.

"For me to be relaxing while they're doing the training was quite nice."

Vardy also responded to claims, from Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and striker Harry Kane, teams tried harder against title rivals Spurs than they did against Leicester.

He said: "I can't see any team doing that, to be honest with you. I don't think anyone would like to just turn up and be rolled over to let someone else win, I don't think that is inside anyone.

"It wouldn't look good on the club if they were doing that and I'm sure the fans wouldn't like it. So I can't see that being true whatsoever."

Vardy also signed a new deal until 2019 in February and dismissed any suggestions he would leave the King Power Stadium this summer.

He added: "We've just won the league and will be playing in the Champions League next year. I am happy here."

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Everton
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Premier League

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