Leicester manager Claude Puel refused to be drawn on speculation linking his assistant manager Michael Appleton with the West Brom vacancy.

The Baggies sacked manager Alan Pardew recently after his brief tenure left the Black Country outfit staring relegation in the face.

Appleton, a former Albion player and coach, is reportedly among the leading contenders to replace Pardew but Puel is paying the rumours no mind.

Leicester boss Claude Puel speaks during a press conference on Thursday morning 

Leicester boss Claude Puel speaks during a press conference on Thursday morning 

Puel refused to be drawn on speculation linking Michael Appleton with the West Brom job

Puel refused to be drawn on speculation linking Michael Appleton with the West Brom job

Puel refused to be drawn on speculation linking Michael Appleton with the West Brom job

‘This is all speculation,’ he said. ‘It’s like with players before the end of the season or before the transfer window. It’s always the same, be it players, coaches, the manager. All people.

‘The most important thing as a player is to keep your concentration on the field and focus on the team and that’s the same with staff.

‘That has to be same until the end of the season. The other thing is just speculation, which I can’t comment on.’

Asked whether he thinks Appleton has a long-term desire to manage again, Puel said: ‘It’s a good question for him, not me. 

‘For me, the most important thing is for everyone at the club to maintain focus on the team and results. Only that.’

Leicester captain Wes Morgan works out in the gym on Thursday morning  

Leicester captain Wes Morgan works out in the gym on Thursday morning  

Leicester captain Wes Morgan works out in the gym on Thursday morning  

Fousseni Diabate lifts weights as the Foxes hit the gym ahead of Saturday's game 

Fousseni Diabate lifts weights as the Foxes hit the gym ahead of Saturday's game 

Fousseni Diabate lifts weights as the Foxes hit the gym ahead of Saturday’s game 

English winger Marc Albrighton was all smiles during the session at Belvoir Drive 

English winger Marc Albrighton was all smiles during the session at Belvoir Drive 

English winger Marc Albrighton was all smiles during the session at Belvoir Drive 

He added: ‘I’m very happy with Michael and I’m happy with all of my staff. From the medical staff, to the physical staff and technical staff, I’m happy.

‘Our consistency in terms of results in the last few months is because the squad is good, we have good players, but we have good staff around them and it’s important to keep up this good work.

‘Mike gives his best around the team and the players and we all need to keep that.’

Puel’s Foxes take on Newcastle this weekend with an outside chance of an unlikely push for a Europa League spot.

Defender Robert Huth works with the barbell during the session in Leicester 

Defender Robert Huth works with the barbell during the session in Leicester 

Defender Robert Huth works with the barbell during the session in Leicester 

Aleksandar Dragovic enjoyed himself as the side worked on their strength and conditioning

Aleksandar Dragovic enjoyed himself as the side worked on their strength and conditioning

Aleksandar Dragovic enjoyed himself as the side worked on their strength and conditioning

Their good form and gritty performances have earned the Frenchman a nomination for Premier League manager of the month but Puel unsurprisingly downplayed the accolade.

‘I think the most important thing is to keep a good focus,’ he said. ‘And I would like it if we can have a reward which will be a reward for all the squad and all my staff at the end of the season.

‘That would mean with a good result with regards to qualifying for Europe.

‘Individual rewards are not important for me. I want to think just about my team, staff and club. This is the most important thing.’ 

The Foxes are aiming to strengthen their position in the top 10 when they face Newcastle

The Foxes are aiming to strengthen their position in the top 10 when they face Newcastle

The Foxes are aiming to strengthen their position in the top 10 when they face Newcastle

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