West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has held his hands up and claimed Leicester have been vindicated in their decision to axe Claudio Ranieri.
The Italian’s sacking last month met with widespread condemnation after he led the Foxes to their shock Premier League title success last season.
But Leicester have been rejuvenated under Ranieri’s replacement, Craig Shakespeare, having won back-to-back domestic games before Tuesday’s epic victory over Sevilla to secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Bilic, whose side host the now flying Foxes on Saturday, was among those baffled by Ranieri’s departure – but says the results since he left do not lie.
“I said after they changed manager what I thought about it and still I don’t understand it,” said Bilic.
“But if you talk about results and performances they got what they wanted.
“Still for me it was a bad decision, Claudio did very decently with them. But it’s the nature of the job, you are the first one to pay the price.
“No one can say it was the wrong decision, the three results have been brilliant and the team looks different.
“It’s a different team to four weeks ago. They played extremely well especially against Sevilla. It’s a great result for them and for English football.
“In all those three games they looked very lively, three wins on the spin including qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Champions League gives them a big boost.”
Bilic on latest Sullivan criticism
Bilic has found himself under pressure after West Ham’s joint-chairman David Sullivan criticised their performance in the last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend.
In an article on the club’s website, Sullivan said: “I was very disappointed and frustrated with the manner of our defeat. Slaven, the players and the staff all know we have to do better.”
Bilic said: “It was a comment on that game, and I said also we can’t be happy with the way we performed and how we conceded the three goals.
“We have to improve and we have to bounce back. I am the first that wasn’t happy. The players know I was not happy about the performance.
“They were not happy in the dressing room. They were frustrated. They know we didn’t do well enough in that game.
“From our point of view, now we have a game against Leicester, we have to bounce back and we are ready for that.”