If Enzo Maresca didn’t already know what the Championship was all about, he certainly will now after Leicester’s last match.
Confidence was high after four wins from four – a start that earned him the title of Sky Bet’s Championship Manager of the Month for August – before the Foxes lost at home to Hull City.
Despite the setback, Mariska remains unfazed.
“We have done a lot and probably deserve more,” says the 43-year-old. Sky Sports. “We shot 21 shots and had 65% of possession, which means the team is creating chances.
“We’re still playing the way we’ve been trying to since day one, and we’re still moving in the right direction.
“You can see how difficult it is game after game. We won four out of five games but every game we won was not easy. I like to focus on what we are doing, but you can see the difficulties that come from that.” Others.
“You can see the results in the league every weekend. Teams that struggle to get points will get them against any team.
“It’s a tough competition, and the most important thing to understand is that it’s a long race. We just need to focus on how we want to play and improve. That’s the mentality we have.”
The only thing that has made it easier for Maresca is that the transfer window is now closed. He had to deal with constant speculation during a difficult first few months in his first managerial role.
Keeping your players alive until the deadline is something they would never have had to worry about while working under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
“It’s definitely a lot easier for us and all managers when the window is closed,” he says. “And for the players, it’s much easier to focus.
“Until the last day, some of them were thinking something might happen. Now it’s completely different.
“Now I am very happy. But there are still a lot of things we need to do. We have only been in our operation for a few months here, and we are at the beginning of a very long race.
“But we are in a good place now. You just need to keep improving every day and every training session.”
Sitting in a stunning training facility, you can tell that this club wasn’t planning on being in the Championship just seven years after their stunning Premier League win.
Even after four successive victories, the victories themselves were not entirely convincing, all of them coming late in the day, and often through individual brilliance.
Maresca knows that expectations at the club are high, but he is certain that his approach and methods will get Leicester back to where they need to be. He believes support from supporters will be key.
“I appreciate the way the fans show their support for us,” he says. “They have been patient and seen how we want to play. It is a step-by-step process, and it is important that we learn how quickly we can get closer to the way we want to play.
“You have to be a bit dynamic and use logic to adjust things, but the main goals and the main ideas remain the same. You can see by watching our matches that the team identity is there.
“[The owners] You never told me the only goal was a promotion. But at the same time, with Leicester in the top flight, that will be the goal.
“This is an important club, and I love the responsibility I have here.”