Jamie Vardy has revealed that he at one point believed he wasn’t good enough to play in the Championship
Vardy has incredibly made his way through the various English divisions over the course of his career – playing for the likes of Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax and Fleetwood Town on his way to becoming one of the top strikers in the Premier League.
Jamie Vardy has scored 63 goals in 144 top flight appearances since Leicester’s promotion in 2014, and was an integral part of his side’s shock league title win two years later.
In a revealing interview with Unscriptd, the England international opened up about how the transfer to Leicester came about, and on how he initially found it hard to adapt to life in the Championship.
He said: “There were bids accepted from Leicester, Cardiff and Peterborough. I came to my decision to sign for Leicester and I’ve been there ever since.
“When you step up the leagues, defenders are better at reading the game, better positioned, not as slow as everyone thinks a centre half should be, and that’s when I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. As soon as we got to the league, I was realising that certain stuff I was doing the year before at Fleetwood wasn’t working.
“No matter what club I was at, I’d always scored a lot of goals. And I think my first season, I think I had five to my name. It was hard to take.”
Jamie Vardy however revealed that everything changed following a chat with then manager Nigel Pearson, and that he and his coaching staff had given him the confidence he needed to pull through a challenging period in his career.
He continued: “I had a chat with the manager and his two assistants at the time – Nigel Pearson, Steve Walsh and Craig Shakespeare – and I was literally telling them that I don’t think I’m good enough for this level.
“I remember asking to be shipped back on loan to Fleetwood at one point, and I remember all three of them sitting me down and just saying: ‘we believe in you, we got you here for a reason’. That’s what I needed to hear.
“That summer, I remember knuckling down even more, and obviously trying to curb off the pitch habits as well, which deep down I knew I needed to do. Sometimes it’s just hard when things aren’t going your way – you need another way to release it all.
“I came back in the second season feeling confident, and the gaffer chose me to start in the first game, against Middlesbrough, away. I managed to get on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win, and everything in that season just started kicking on from there.
“It definitely grew me in confidence in the year, especially for myself knowing that I was at a stage the season before where I wasn’t thinking that the Championship was at my level. I was over the moon that it didn’t turn out that way, and was obviously buzzing that we managed to get promoted.”
Vardy went on to score 16 goals for Leicester in the Championship that season, and was named their Players’ Player of the Season as a result.