Kelechi Iheanacho says Leicester City must display a fearsome determination to win when they take on Southampton at Wembley Stadium in the Emirates FA Cup Semi-finals on Sunday.
Iheanacho has played a crucial role in the Foxes’ run to the last four of the prestigious competition, netting three goals in his last two cup outings including a brace against Manchester United in the quarter-finals.
With excitement and anticipation building ahead of the game, the Nigeria international spoke of Leicester’s preparations and mindset heading into Sunday’s clash with the Saints.
“There’s quite a lot of excitement, but we need to take that to the game as well,” he told LCFC TV.
“We’re really working hard in training now to make sure we get what we need. That’s the most important thing now, to focus on the game.
“Obviously, we know what it’s about. We know how the Club really wants this. We know what it means. The most important part is to put in the hard work on the field of play, that’s what we need to do.
“So, that’s where we need to focus more and put our work in and then after the game, we’ll come out and be happy.”
Iheanacho, who has nine goals in his last six appearances in all formats for City, knows all four teams remaining in the FA Cup will have ambitions of lifting the trophy at Wembley Stadium in May.
He continued: “We’ll always have that hunger and desire to win trophies. Of course, other teams are preparing as well, but we need to need it more, we need to want it more.
“We need to sacrifice so many things, we need to sacrifice so many things and give our best shot. That’s what we need to do, in training and in the game.
“We need to do what we can, do our best, we need to work best in the game, we need to give extra, more than what we’ve been giving. So, that’s what we need to do as a team, and I think we are getting ready to do that.”
His stunning form in front of goal, which earned in the Premier League’s Player of the Month award in March, is the best of his Foxes career. However, the Nigerian says there is more to come – providing he maintains his hard work.
“I’m in a good place at the moment now,” he continued. “I just need to keep applying it in the game and to keep helping my team. Hopefully, it will be applied in the game at the weekend by God’s grace.
“But I just need to put in the hard work everyday. I need to concentrate and work really hard. The form now is coming. It’s coming. I just need to really keep my head down and keep working hard so it will keep going.”
Iheanacho’s double in the quarter-finals at King Power Stadium against Manchester United made him the all-time leading African goalscorer in the competition after surpassing Didier Drogba’s record of 12.
When asked about his record, he said: “For me, personally, I don’t want to think about it too much. I don’t want to lose my focus in the game.
“So, I think probably after this season, I will start thinking about it, but right now, there are big weeks now in the FA Cup and the Premier League, so I just need that concentration and determination to win games and make sure we get to where we want at the end of this season.
“And after that, then we can enjoy the moments that have come this season.”