Enzo Maresca hails Jamie Vardy as Leicester continue flying start to season

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca hailed the contribution of veteran striker Jamie Vardy as the Foxes continued their flying start to the season with a 2-0 Carabao Cup victory at Tranmere.

Second-half strikes from Wilfred Ndidi and former England international Vardy proved the difference as the Championship side ran out 2-0 victors against their League Two opponents.

It was a sixth win out of six for Leicester in all competitions this season and saw 36-year-old Vardy open his account for the campaign after returning to the starting line-up.

Maresca said: “I’m happy to continue in this competition and I’m happy for the players, especially the young players who don’t play every week.

“I’ve been really happy with Jamie Vardy because when a striker scores they are always happy for them as well as the team.

“He’s been performing well when he starts and as well when he’s been on the bench and his contribution has been amazing.”

The Foxes enjoyed large amounts of possession in the opening stages of the second-round clash at Prenton Park and had a number of chances to open the scoring with Harry Winks coming the closest after seven minutes.

But the 2016 Premier League champions did not have it all their own way with Rovers growing in confidence and, after defending resolutely for half an hour, created some decent openings through Dan Pike and Josh Hawkes.

The deadlock was finally broken nine minutes after the break when Ndidi’s effort from the right side of the box found its way into the net via both posts, and just four minutes later Vardy put the result beyond doubt with a close-range header from an Ndidi cross.

Further chances fell to the visitors as Rovers pushed forward with Vardy and Ndidi who were both foiled by Joe Murphy, a veteran of the meeting between these two in the final of this competition at Wembley 23-years ago.

Maresca added: “I was not happy at half-time so made some changes and we’ve played six games in around 20 days and we have one more to go before the international break.

“We’ve won six from six now and all the attention now turns to the game on Saturday before the international break when some of the players can conserve their energy.”

Despite the defeat, Tranmere manager Ian Dawes was keen to focus on the positives from the encounter.

He said: “We knew going into the game today that they don’t make many changes, they go really strong and the manager takes the competition seriously.

“We knew we had to get our defensive organisation right and we knew we needed to limit their chances on goal and push up as the game went on.

“We had to stifle the game a little bit, keep possession and then make opportunities ourselves and I thought we did that really well and it all went to plan and they probably scored the first goal when we were on top.

“We’ve got to be positive at the end of it, it still hurts getting beat and we obviously wanted to go through, but you’ve got to look at what they’ve got on the pitch.

“You look at their team and they’ve still got Premier League players in their team and taking things into context we can be nothing but positive and we have to take that into Saturday against Wrexham.”