LEICESTER CITY MANAGER ENZO MARESCA SORRY FOR PATSON DAKA LACK OF GAME TIME
Patson Daka was handed his first start for Leicester City in the Championship on Saturday, scoring and assisting in a 4-0 win over Plymouth in week 20.
This was Daka’s first start after being omitted from the starting lineup for the first 19 games, making only a one-minute appearance during that period.
His opportunity arose due to illness for Kelechi Iheanacho, an undisclosed minor problem for Jamie Vardy, and third-choice option Thomas Cannon also just returning from injury. Cannon replaced Daka in the second half.
Speaking after the match, Enzo Maresca expressed his regret for Daka’s lack of playing time.
“I always said to him that in these three or four months: ‘Patson, I’m very sorry for the situation,'” Maresca said. “But it is what it is. He has continued to work in the right way.”
Maresca described Daka’s situation as “strange”, emphasizing Daka’s professionalism throughout.
“The situation with Patson has been a bit strange,” Maresca explained. “Since day one, he works fantastic and he behaves fantastic. Because I play with one striker and we use Jamie, we use Kele, he didn’t get minutes. But it was not because he trained bad or behaved bad.”
The Italian manager revealed his conversation with Daka before the match.
“I told Pat before the game: ‘It doesn’t matter if you play well or bad. I don’t expect from you to play well. I can understand to be out for three or four months. So play free, relax, enjoy, and then we’ll see.'”
Daka responded with a goal and an assist, pleasing his manager.
“He tried to drop, to link. We know it’s not his way. But he has to adapt a little bit in the way the team wants to play. He did some good, he missed some others, but it doesn’t matter. At the end, he also scored a goal. I’m very happy for him.”-Zed Sport