May 26 (Reuters) - Leicester City manager Dean Smith urged his players to focus on their final game of the season against West Ham United and ignore the fact that Premier League survival is out of their hands.
Leicester, who won the league title in 2016, must beat West Ham on Sunday and hope Everton drop points against Bournemouth to avoid relegation to the Championship for the first time in nine seasons.
Smith’s side are 18th, level on 31 points with Leeds United (19th) and two points behind 17th-placed Everton.
“We have to win the game and not look at the Everton result until after the game. We have to do our job and see where it takes us,” Smith told reporters on Friday. “We can only control what we do.
“We just have to concentrate on our own game. It’s simplistic, we have to win, it doesn’t matter what’s going on at other grounds. Just win. We have seen how quickly things can change around in the last 15 minutes of games.
“The players want clarity of what their positions are, what we are asking of them and our job is to give them that. It doesn’t get any clearer for me. They have to win. That’s all they need to know.” Leicester will be without defender Caglar Soyuncu for the match but Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Jonny Evans and Ricardo Pereira will be available, while Wilfried Ndidi is doubtful, Smith said.
Smith, who was appointed in April until the end of the season after the departure of Brendan Rodgers, said the outcome of the game would not impact his future at the club.
“Not at all, my future was to come in for seven weeks and eight games and that hasn’t changed,” he said.
“My future is exactly the same. That is a question to have after the game and not before it.”