Leicester are finding that being top dogs in the Premier League means you have a target on your back.
The Foxes have become the hunted, and striker Leonardo Ulloa says the players are “not enjoying to the full” their unlikely assault on the Premier League title and that the matches are getting tougher.
The Argentine kept Leicester’s hopes of lifting the trophy on course when he scored an added-time penalty to earn a 2-2 home draw with West Ham on Sunday.
Ulloa said the pressure is starting to tell on Leicester, who have never won the title in their 132-year history, and said they are no longer a surprise for other teams.
He tells Argentine newspaper Clarin: “Thank God we’re winning, but the truth is we’re not enjoying it to the full.
“Everyone wants to beat us and all the matches are getting more difficult as we approach the end. We’re no longer a surprise.
“We’re aware of the expectations we’re generating not just in England but in Europe and the world of football.
“We’re also aware that today we still haven’t achieved anything. But I think we’re not altogether conscious of the magnitude of what we’re experiencing.”
Ulloa also paid tribute to boss Claudio Ranieri, who has gone to great lengths to shield a team who started the season as 5000-1 outsiders after narrowly escaping relegation the previous season from too much expectation.
The big hitman adds: “[Ranieri] is a coach who is very close to his players, he’s got a lot of feeling and experience.”
Ranieri defended Vardy over the red card, saying: “He never dives. Always he goes very fast and at this speed if you touch a little [the player goes down].”