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Referee clampdown has led to change in defending style

Leicester defender Christian Fuchs said he has had to change his game to meet the new refereeing guidelines, especially while defending set pieces

Leicester City’s Christian Fuchs says he has had to alter his defending style to adapt to the clampdown by referees on pushing and holding in the penalty area.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Vincent Janssen opened the scoring from the penalty spot in Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Leicester on Saturday, after defender Robert Huth was deemed to have held back the Dutchman.

Fuchs said he has had to change his game to meet the new refereeing guidelines, especially while defending set pieces.

“The refs are looking much more at corner kicks and free kicks from the side and you just need to be careful,” the 30-year-old was quoted as saying by Leicester Mercury.

“I had to change the way I defended. You can’t get that close to players anymore. No pulling or not too much pulling, obviously, there is always puling going on. It is slightly different.

“We had the briefing at the beginning of the season from the referees.”

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri refused to blame the official.

“It was a penalty,” said Ranieri. “The referee can give a penalty or not. It is important to be concentrated and the chance to take a penalty is short.

“It is difficult because the strikers challenge you in this way and if you don’t react you lose the duel, and the referee says it is a foul or no foul.”

Champions Leicester, lying 11th in the Premier League, travel to Denmark to face FC Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday before hosting West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

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