Claude Puel has warned his Leicester City bosses they will be making a big mistake if they sack him.
The Frenchman steered the Foxes clear of relegation trouble after replacing Craig Shakespeare as manager in October.
Despite the club sitting ninth in the Premier League table, speculation is rife that Puel will be replaced in the summer following a five-match winless run.
Reports have suggested David Wagner is being lined up as the 56-year-old’s replacement, but Puel has pointed to Southampton’s struggles since sacking him last summer as proof Leicester could regret making a change.
“We need perspective because we will finish in the middle of the table. A lot of teams would like to finish in our position,” said Puel, who led the Saints to an eight place finish and into the League Cup final last season.
“I finished eighth in the table with Southampton. We can see where they play now.
“I came in here to a team in difficulties. We’ll finish in the top half of the table but it can create a problem with discussion and speculation.
“Seventh or eighth is the reality — in the Premier League, we can accept this. But in my work there is no pressure because it doesn’t change my philosophy. I will continue to build and perform and develop young players, this is not a risk, it is my job.”
Puel’s methods and training regime have reportedly come under-fire from senior stars and fans turned on during Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to defeat at home to West Ham.
But he insists he will not change his approach to management.
“The Premier League is like a piranha club but the most important thing for me is to build for the future,” he said.
“It is not possible in six months to have all the possibility to perform like a great team. We have to work together with patience and we can build something strong for the future.
“I try to always have dignity and integrity in my work and try to develop teams and squads to develop the club. Otherwise the chairman has to buy all the players who are expensive in price and perhaps, if we give some young players the game-time, we can have the solution.
“I will continue to build and perform and develop young players, this is not a risk, it is my job.
“The other clubs must build a good collective and consistency. It was the way for Leicester for one season, the same for Southampton three years ago.
“Without that, it is tough. Without time to build a good squad. We need perspective because we will finish in the middle of the table. A lot of teams would like to finish in our position.
“We need to work and look forward to a full pre-season with the possibility to strengthen our squad for next season. Last season I finished eighth in the table and reached a cup final. This season we could finish ninth, tenth or eighth I hope, without the possibility to work in pre-season or having a full transfer window.”