Leicester manager Enzo Maresca admitted he did not want Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to leave, but said the player’s future was now a matter for the club.

Dewsbury-Hall scored the opening goal after only three minutes as Leicester moved 10 points clear at the top of the Championship thanks to a 3-1 victory over Swansea.

The midfielder is thought to be a January transfer target for Brighton, but Leicester want at least £30million for him.

Two goals in three minutes sealed the points for Leicester with Stephy Mavididi scoring from the penalty spot, and Yunus Akgun adding a third.

But Maresca said Dewsbury-Hall had not been affected by the transfer speculation leading up to the game.

“I don’t want Kiernan to go – ask the club if we need to sell or not,” said Maresca.

“The only way we can do something is to sell players. I don’t think that Kiernan’s future was about this game. Kiernan is a Leicester player, hopefully he can play in the next game.

“Here, he showed once again he is in love with the club, if something will happen now, I don’t know.

“He cares about the club and he has 10 goals this season, probably for the first time in his life, these kind of things, people don’t give the right importance to and it’s not a good thing.”

Maresca also sensed the frustration among the home supporters at times, even though Leicester are dominating the English second tier.

“You can feel the fans when they’re not happy, some people take things for granted,” said the Italian coach.

“We have won 26 of 34 games this season, unbelievable, a huge number.

“The only thing I can say is that people think it’s easy, but it’s not. I came to this club to play with this idea, the moment there is some doubt about the idea, the day after, I will leave, it’s so clear.”

Swansea manager Luke Williams was left frustrated as he searches for his first league win since taking over.

“Leicester are a fantastic side who played in a fantastic way, they unlocked us,” he said.

“We held our own after the first goal, but you need to be clinical to come away with anything from Leicester.

“But then it was really quite frustrating to lose concentration, the second two goals were gifts.

“We made it a little bit too easy for those goals. I haven’t seen the penalty back, but what I know is that what came before it was a lack of concentration and focus and you cannot do that against a top side.

“It’s really difficult and challenging for the players to concentrate for 96 minutes against a side posing so many questions, but if you want to compete at the right end of the division, it’ll require the players to be focused for the entire game.”

Williams admitted his first win in the Championship with Swansea could not come soon enough.

“We’ve had very tough fixtures, but it’d be lovely to get a victory for sure,” he said.

Williams said he expected to be busy as the transfer deadline approached.

“We’re going to be trying to bring the right players in, but it’s challenging,” he added.

“I hope it’s busy and I hope it’s fruitful as well.”

Leicester moved 10 points clear at the top of the Championship following a convincing 3-1 victory over Swansea.

Enzo Maresca’s side took the lead through Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall after only three minutes.

Dewsbury-Hall is believed to be a January transfer target for Brighton, but he showed no signs that the speculation was affecting his game.

Leicester then missed a number of opportunities to put the game beyond Swansea’s reach, before Stephy Mavididi scored a 69th-minute penalty and substitute Yunus Akgun added a third, just three minutes later.

Joe Allen scored a stoppage-time consolation goal, but the result left Luke Williams still searching for his first win as Swansea manager.

Leicester took the lead after only three minutes as Dewsbury-Hall scored his 10th goal of the season

Patson Daka played the ball through Nathan Wood’s legs for Dewsbury-Hall, who took his time before picking his spot and putting the ball past Swansea goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.

But Leicester should have added a second after 19 minutes when Dewsbury-Hall crossed from the right for Daka, who was back in the team after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations with Zambia. But he sliced the ball wide from four yards out.

Leicester came close adding a second on the stroke of half-time when Mavididi’s shot from the edge of the area was tipped on to the crossbar by Rushworth.

Dewsbury-Hall then set up Daka for another chance, but he put his effort over.

The hosts had another chance to score – six minutes after half-time – and this time it was Dewsbury-Hall’s turn as he put a Dennis Praet cross wide from close range at the far post.

Swansea defender Harry Darling then went off injured after 61 minutes.

Leicester’s Kasey McAteer saw a long-range effort fly over the bar and Swansea almost hit back straight away when Jamie Paterson went close from 20 yards out.

But the Foxes finally found the net after 69 minutes from the penalty spot.

Daka took the ball off Swansea’s Bashir Humphreys on the halfway line and raced towards goal.

Wood caught up with the Leicester striker but was penalised for a lunging challenge, missed the ball and left Daka falling over in the box. Wood disputed referee Keith Stroud’s decision, but Mavididi stepped up to convert the spot-kick.

Leicester were three up after 72 minutes as substitute Yunus scored for the second-successive game.

Galatasaray loanee Yunus made the most of some hesitancy in the Swans defence to pounce following a poor clearance from Rushworth.

Swansea scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Jay Fulton’s cross was headed back into the six-yard area by Ben Cabango and Jerry Yates failed to connect before Allen scored from eight yards out.

Enzo Maresca conceded Leicester rode their luck en route to booking their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win against Birmingham.

Birmingham spurned a number of first-half chances before Foxes striker Jamie Vardy opened the scoring after 47 minutes with his first goal in over two months from Marc Albrighton’s cross.

Yunus Akgun smashed his first Leicester goal into the top-left corner from the edge of the penalty area after 72 minutes before Dennis Praet sealed the win two minutes from time with a confident finish from substitute Tom Cannon’s cutback.

Maresca said: “We were lucky in the first half, they had many chances. The second half was much better, we controlled the game and made some tactical adjustments.

“A big part of the final result is down to Jakub (Stolarczyk’s) saves in the first half, that gave us the opportunity to still be in the game in the second half.

“(The first goal) was like 2016, it was fantastic, I’m happy for Jamie because it’s always important for a striker to score goals and also happy for Marc for the assist.

“I’m especially happy for the seven or eight players young players we had in the squad from the academy, I think it’s something historic.

“We expected to struggle a little bit because of the changes and playing many young players but we struggled because we were not playing in the way we like to play with the ball.

“I was very calm (at half-time), I was ready for the first half, it’s normal that we struggled with 10 new players in the team.”

Blues manager Tony Mowbray could not believe his team were not in front at the break after a number of good chances went begging as he suffered a first defeat as Birmingham boss.

Mowbray said: “We could have been four-nil up, maybe five, at half-time, we squandered some pretty good chances, in the end their quality showed.

“We’re trying to create an identity, there were plenty of positives in the first half, the changes we made didn’t help us.

“It felt as if we were making changes and becoming less effective and they were making changes and becoming more effective.

“The second goal was a real killer for us, the game ran away from us.

“The players have seen the identity and how hard they have to work, if they don’t bring it they won’t be playing, they either want to come on the journey or they don’t.

“Who can criticise anybody for the first-half performance? Everybody did their job and a bit of somebody else’s job and the rewards were there for all to see.

“It was difficult to comprehend that we didn’t come in winning the game at half-time but we had to accept it and try and repeat it but we couldn’t.”

Jamie Vardy’s eighth goal of the season helped much-changed Leicester into the FA Cup fifth round with a 3-0 win against Birmingham.

Vardy broke the deadlock with a header from Marc Albrighton’s superb cross after 47 minutes before Yunus Akgun’s thunderbolt on 72 minutes sealed Leicester’s place in the fifth round.

Foxes midfielder Dennis Praet added a third goal with a cool finish after 88 minutes, with Birmingham made to rue a number of missed chances in the first half as Blues lost for the first time under new boss Tony Mowbray.

Birmingham almost took the lead after just two minutes as Foxes goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk made a smart save with his foot to deny Keshi Anderson from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

Blues midfielder Koji Miyoshi was next to try his luck with a fine curling effort from just inside the penalty box which went inches over the crossbar with Stolarczyk rooted to the spot.

The visitors spurned another chance to take the lead when Jordan James and Jay Stansfield played a clever one-two which sent the former through on goal only for Stolarczyk to make a crucial save.

Mowbray’s side continued to dominate the chances as Siriki Dembele saw a low shot saved before Stolarczyk denied Stansfield soon after, with the striker sending his follow-up effort over the crossbar.

Birmingham went even closer to the opening goal five minutes before the break as Stansfield poked a shot against the post from 10 yards out after good work from Dembele.

Leicester made their opponents pay for those missed chances just two minutes into the second half as Vardy headed home Albrighton’s inch-perfect cross from the right into the bottom-left corner from eight yards out.

Blues had a chance to draw level soon after only for Anderson to blaze his shot into the stand after he was picked out by Stansfield following Hamza Choudhury’s giveaway.

The home side doubled their lead after 72 minutes when Akgun collected a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area before smashing a shot into the top-left corner to score his first goal for the club.

Enzo Maresca’s side could have extended their advantage eight minutes from time only for Ben Nelson to volley straight at John Ruddy from close range after Blues failed to clear their lines at a corner.

The Foxes added some gloss to the scoreline with two minutes left to play when Praet, making his first start since August, found the bottom-right corner from substitute Tom Cannon’s cut back.

Leicester are now unbeaten in their last eight matches against Birmingham in all competitions, while Blues have failed to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup in each of the last four seasons.

Enzo Maresca insists Leicester must be wary of the Championship’s chasing pack after Ipswich stopped the Foxes going 10 points clear at the top.

Jeremy Sarmiento’s late leveller moved the visitors back into second and put a dent in the Foxes’ title procession following a 1-1 draw.

Leif Davis’ unfortunate first-half own goal gave the hosts the lead but they were unable to build on it.

Tom Cannon was twice thwarted by Vaclav Hladky while Mads Hermansen’s smart save from Wes Burns denied Ipswich an earlier leveller.

“I’ve felt the breath of Ipswich and Southampton since we started and I’ve felt Leeds’ breath also, the Championship is very long,” said Leicester boss Maresca, who served a suspension in the stands.

“If we’d won tonight we were 10 points from Ipswich and Southampton but losing or drawing it’s still very long.

“Now we are (going) in the right direction because of the performance but there are still many games.

“It’s always a shame when you drop points at the end. It happened there (in Ipswich) and happened tonight. It’s football, even if you go 2-0 up, until the end there is always danger. Overall, with the way we performed, I’m very happy.

“It was frustrating being in the stand because you don’t have the direct contact with the players. I feel frustrated about the result, not about the way we performed.”

Cannon and Hamza Choudhury went close during a confident opening from the Foxes but it took an own goal to break the deadlock after 31 minutes.

Stephy Mavididi swapped passes with Ricardo Pereira on the left and his low cross was turned into his own net by Davis – his second own goal in four games.

Pereira shot wide and Cannon went close as Leicester went for a second but they needed Hermansen to maintain their lead soon after the break when he turned Burns’ volley over.

Mavididi and Cannon had shots saved but Ipswich gradually found their edge in the second half and began to put the Foxes under real pressure, without testing Hermansen.

That was until in the final minute of normal time when Massimo Luongo was given space on the edge of the area and his drive was parried by Hermansen.

It fell straight to the unmarked Sarmiento to fire in, despite the best efforts of Hermansen, meaning Ipswich have rescued 21 points from losing positions this season.

Boss Kieran McKenna said: “The second half was much more like ourselves and we can take a lot of confidence from it. On the balance of the second half we probably deserved to get something from the game.

“We are coming back at lot, not losing many games, which is a reflection of the culture and togetherness in the group.

“I really liked the second half, there was a real conviction in the dressing room at half-time.

“I thought in the first half we didn’t manage to find that belief in ourselves but there was a real intent to go out in the second half and show that. There’s so long to go we have to focus on ourselves.

“We’re competing with teams on a points tally we’ve got no right to. Our focus remains to perform as well as we can.”

Jeremy Sarmiento’s late strike rescued a point for Ipswich and stopped Leicester moving 10 points clear at the top of the Championship.

The Foxes looked to be hanging on for victory until substitute Sarmiento’s goal with a minute left earned a 1-1 draw for the second-placed visitors.

Leif Davis’ second own goal in four games gave the hosts a first-half lead but it was one they failed to build on, even if they still sit seven points clear of Ipswich.

Efficient and functional, it would still take an implosion of some magnitude for Enzo Maresca’s side to fail to return to the top flight at the first attempt.

For Ipswich, Southampton’s 20-game unbeaten league run had helped eradicated an 11-point gap in just a month.

It meant they started the night third on goal difference behind the Saints but a point moved them back into the top two.

Leicester, coming off the back of just a fourth Championship defeat of the season after last week’s late 3-1 loss at Coventry, initially made Ipswich pay for a timid first half.

Tom Cannon’s shot was deflected behind by Luke Woolfenden but it was a slow burner until Vaclav Hladky turned Hamza Choudhury’s curling effort wide after 26 minutes.

A 1-1 draw with Leicester at Portman Road on Boxing Day showed Ipswich’s resilience and Conor Chaplin shot over but the hosts found a way through after 31 minutes.

Stephy Mavididi collected Harry Winks’ ball on the left before swapping passes with Ricardo Pereira.

The forward delivered a dangerous ball across the six-yard box and Hladky could only divert in onto the unfortunate Davis who inadvertently bundled into his own net.

Gaps soon started appearing for the Foxes and Pereira shot wide six minutes later and Hladky again saved from Cannon before the break as the host found a touch of swagger.

That was almost wiped away inside the opening five minutes of the second half as Mads Hermansen turned Wes Burns’ controlled volley over after the Foxes failed to clear a corner.

Yet it was the visitors’ only threat and Leicester settled quickly to create several openings.

Mavididi’s shot was blocked and Cannon’s acrobatic effort dropped wide before the striker continued his duel with Hladky and forced another save from 18 yards.

Jamie Vardy returned from injury as a late substitute and the Foxes looked to be hanging on for victory until the 89th minute.

Ipswich had improved as the half wore on and when Massimo Luongo was left with too much time on the edge of the box Hermansen saved his drive, only for Brighton loanee Sarmiento to follow up and snatch a point.

Boss Mark Robins underlined Coventry’s determination to keep star man Callum O’Hare after he inspired the Sky Blues to a stunning late victory over Leicester.

The midfielder netted twice as the hosts scored three goals in the final 11 minutes to beat the 10-man Foxes 3-1.

O’Hare levelled before Milan van Ewijk fired Coventry ahead with two minutes left and then added a third in stoppage time.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s penalty gave Leicester the lead but Abdul Fatawu’s red card in first-half injury time gave Coventry the impetus.

O’Hare’s deal expires in the summer and Robins insisted the club will do everything they can to keep him, with the O’Hare having recovered from a serious knee injury.

Robins said: “You’ve got to wait for that. We can only do so much but we will 100 per cent want to keep him. Whatever happens it won’t be for the want of trying or not wanting to do it from our part.

“Looking at characteristics of people in teams, he epitomises what we want to do. He is brave, goes after things, a good communicator, an effervescent character and has added goalscoring to it.

“He deserves all the plaudits he gets. We missed him greatly.

“I thought we were brilliant. It was one of the best performances we’ve had this season, in many seasons. You have to understand how good the opponent is and then pick the bones out of the performance.

“Even with 11 v 11 we were outstanding.”

The leaders slipped to a first defeat in 11 league games after the Sky Blues’ grandstand finish.

Coventry dominated for long spells – Tatsuhiro Sakamoto hitting the post early – but fell behind a minute before the break.

Van Ewijk lost possession and Bobby Thomas caught Dewsbury-Hall, despite winning the ball first, as he attempted to recover the situation.

Dewsbury-Hall converted from the spot but the Foxes were soon down to 10 men when Fatawu recklessly clattered into Jake Bidwell for a straight red.

Matty Godden headed at Mads Hermansen but Coventry had to wait until 11 minutes from time to start their comeback.

Ellis Simms and Jay Dasilva combined for O’Hare to roll into the corner and van Ewijk put the Sky Blues ahead with two minutes left, firing in from the edge of the box after Leicester failed to clear a corner.

O’Hare then wrapped up the victory when he volleyed in from close range after Godden’s shot was blocked.

Leicester boss Enzo Maresca said: “We played two games, the first half was one and the second half was another.

“The red card changed the game completely. Abdul is very young, he needs to learn many things – in some moments you need to be more calm.

“It’s part of his process and he has to improve many things, at 1-0 up he tried to recover the ball not with the right thing. It happens.

“I feel proud when we win, win, win but today I feel more proud. We continued to play, fight and we didn’t concede important chances until the goal. It’s part of the game, with so many games it can happen.”

Coventry’s sensational late show stunned leaders Leicester as the 10-man Foxes were deservedly beaten.

Callum O’Hare’s double and Milan van Ewijk’s goal fired the Sky Blues to a 3-1 win.

O’Hare’s 79th-minute strike hauled them level, after Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s controversial penalty gave the visitors the lead, before the midfielder netted late following van Ewijk’s effort two minutes from time.

The Sky Blues were furious about the penalty but were given hope by Abdul Fatawu’s red card in first-half stoppage time.

Leicester slipped to a first defeat in 11 Championship games with Coventry maintaining their play-off challenge.

Beforehand, both clubs condemned those who had hung banners on the M69 mocking the death of former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and abusing Leicester fans.

The hosts had lost just once since December, a seven-match unbeaten run pushing them to the brink of the play-offs and the Sky Blues took that confidence to go at Leicester early, coming close after six minutes.

The busy O’Hare won the ball back for Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and the winger jinked past James Justin and Mads Hermansen turned his drive onto the post.

A minute before Matty Godden curled at Hermansen while Kasey Palmer drilled wide soon after with the Foxes yet to get going.

Leicester last lost in November, successive defeats to Leeds and Middlesbrough, and had dropped just four points since yet they were unnerved by Coventry’s bustling approach.

Godden’s deflected effort skidded wide as the Sky Blues continued to press, only for Leicester to issue a warning 10 minutes before half time.

Good work from Dewsbury-Hall saw the Foxes break and when the midfielder swapped passes with Stephy Mavididi he teed up Cesare Casadei, only for the forward to slide his shot inches wide.

O’Hare then had his own chance but failed to get a connection before late drama at the end of the half.

Van Ewijk lost possession and allowed Dewsbury-Hall to chase, Bobby Thomas came steaming in and, while he won the ball, the defender caught the Leicester man with the follow through.

Referee Darren England pointed to the spot and Dewsbury-Hall sent Brad Collins the wrong way after 44 minutes.

If the visitors thought they would then see out the half with few problems they were mistaken when Fatawu – who had earlier been warned to calm down by Wout Faes – cleaned out Jake Bidwell in stoppage time and was instantly shown a red card.

Coventry tried to capitalise and Godden wasted a fine chance, heading van Ewijk’s cross at Hermansen 10 minutes into the second half.

Leicester carried little threat and it was up to Coventry to break them down but Mark Robins’ men struggled for inspiration, despite the man advantage, until O’Hare struck with 11 minutes left.

Substitutes Ellis Simms and Jay Dasilva combined to set up O’Hare for the midfielder to curl in low from 12 yards.

Coventry went chasing victory and went ahead in the 88th minute when Sakamoto’s corner was only cleared to van Ewijk on the edge of the box and he found the bottom corner.

There was still time for O’Hare to volley in a third in stoppage time to cap the comeback.

West Midlands Police have removed offensive banners aimed at Leicester’s late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha placed on the motorway ahead of the Foxes’ clash with Coventry.

Several photos emerged on social media displaying messages which were put up on the M69, which Leicester fans will use to travel to the game, ahead of the Championship derby encounter on Saturday lunchtime.

Some banners showed images of helicopters alongside offensive messages to mock Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash alongside four others shortly after taking off from the King Power Stadium in September 2018.

After West Midlands Police were notified of the offensive banners, they were taken down from the motorway and the force warned fans about the relevant legislation.

Coventry City FC Police, a force unit for West Midlands Police, posted on X: “I was hoping there wouldn’t be a need however I feel the minority, I stress minority need a timely reminder. There is legislation in place that covers tragedy chanting, including the displaying of offensive banners.”

Both clubs were quick to condemn the abuse and will work with the police to find out who created them and take action, including bans for anyone found to be involved.

Coventry issued a statement on X, formerly Twitter, which read: “Coventry City completely condemns incidents today which have seen banners being displayed containing offensive content directed at Leicester City Football Club.

“Coventry City will work with West Midlands Police to identify those who created and displayed these banners, and take appropriate action against them.

“Such behaviour has no place in football or society, and these people are not welcome at our Football Club and will be subject to bans.”

A Leicester spokesman said: “The football club notes with disappointment the disrespectful actions of a minority of opposition supporters, mocking the tragic events that deeply affected our club and community.

“Such behaviour stands in contrast to the values of respect and unity that football should embody.

“We are grateful to Coventry City Football Club and the wider football community who stand with us in condemning these actions and brought this incident to the attention of the relevant authorities. We will work with all parties to support the identification and appropriate response to those involved.”

It is not the first time that banners have been used to mock the rival fan base in the ‘M69 derby’ after some Leicester fans displayed banners on the same motorway following their 2-1 victory over Coventry in August.

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca was impressed with the way his young team grew into what was a “tricky” FA Cup tie at Millwall as the Championship leaders moved into the fourth round with a 3-2 victory.

Maresca made seven changes from the line-up that defeated Huddersfield on New Year’s Day with Marc Albrighton, Ricardo Pereira and Conor Coady the only experienced players in from the start.

The Foxes rode their luck at times in the first half, when their more clinical finishing was the difference, but Leicester gained more control after the break as the strength in depth of their squad was emphasised.

Maresca said: “It was a tricky game in terms of many reasons, probably the main reason is because we made many changes.

“We had a very young first XI – we had seven of our 11 players born after 2000 – so it was a tricky game, but overall we created many chances, we scored three goals and we could have scored more.

“Probably in the first half we conceded too much because we were pressing not in the perfect way.

“The second half was much better off the ball and also on the ball, we improved a lot.”

On Albrighton’s influence in what was a rare start, Maresca added: “He is fantastic, he works every day, he’s very professional, he’s a good guy who helps everyone.

“I love Marc and I’m a bit sad that I could not give him more chances, but he completely understands.”

It was Albrighton who created Leicester’s opening goal after 16 minutes when his terrific cross was headed in by Cesare Casadei at the back post.

Pereira then gave the Foxes a 2-0 lead at half-time with a fine finish before Millwall briefly put themselves back in the game through Duncan Watmore’s close-range effort.

Tom Cannon’s third strike of the week restored Leicester’s two-cushion and although Zian Flemming halved that again with four minutes left, time ran out for the Lions.

Millwall boss Joe Edwards said: “I was pleased today with how much we created from our possession.

“We’ve spoken a lot since I’ve been here that we want to have more of the ball, but the big thing is about what we’re doing when we’ve got it, and I thought the stand-out positive for us was we played out a lot.

“The outcome of it was we were playing through Leicester into the final third a lot.

“We’ve had other games where we’ve started to look like a team that’s got a clear idea in possession but not really created much, so to have that many shots is a positive.

“The flip side of that is that we made a couple of minor errors around our own box.”

Tom Cannon scored his third goal in a week as much-changed Leicester moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup following an entertaining 3-2 victory at fellow Championship side Millwall.

Cannon scored twice in his first start for the Foxes against Huddersfield on New Year’s Day and was one of just four players retained from that game in their line-up as manager Enzo Maresca reminded everyone of the considerable strength of depth at his disposal.

Cesare Casadei and Ricardo Pereira put the Foxes 2-0 up and, after Duncan Watmore halved the deficit, Cannon struck with Zian Flemming setting up a nervy finish late on.

The first good chance went to Millwall, who as a League One club beat the then-Premier League champions the last time the two teams met in the FA Cup in February 2017.

In the fifth minute, Flemming’s pass put Watmore into space and he advanced into the area before his shot was beaten away by Leicester goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk.

Another opening for the Lions soon followed when Watmore played a clever ball inside for Danny McNamara, whose effort also brought Stolarczyk into action.

But the Lions’ bright start counted for nothing as Leicester struck from their first real chance in the 16th minute when Marc Albrighton chipped in a superb cross that was nodded in by Casadei at the back post.

Millwall tried to hit back and captain Jake Cooper should have equalised when he sent a free header from Joe Bryan’s corner over.

The Foxes then showed their quality again by doubling their lead in the 39th minute when Casadei played Ben Nelson’s pass first time into the path of captain Pereira, who finished firmly into the bottom corner.

The tie could have been settled within eight minutes of the second half when Cannon’s shot was superbly tipped away by Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic, who recovered to keep out Albrighton’s follow-up.

Instead, it looked like game on after 56 minutes when George Honeyman’s corner was nodded down by Flemming for Watmore to finish from close range.

However, Leicester restored their two-goal cushion five minutes later when Cannon beat Sarkic to Callum Doyle’s long pass outside the area before calmly rolling into the empty net.

The same combination almost manufactured a fourth for the Foxes as Cannon got in behind Wes Harding, but this time bent his shot narrowly wide.

It was all going the Foxes’ way now and it needed another double save from Sarkic, denying first Cannon then Albrighton to prevent the scoreline becoming even more emphatic.

Millwall gave themselves some late hope in the 86th minute when Flemming made the most of some awful marking to volley in Bryan’s corner, but time ran out for the 2004 finalists.

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca said he put no pressure on Tom Cannon to perform ahead of the Championship leaders’ 4-1 win against Huddersfield.

Cannon scored twice on his full debut for a Leicester side who now have a 10-point lead at the top of the table ahead of Ipswich.

The 21-year-old opened the scoring and added another just after the hour mark, as well as seeing another effort ruled out for offside.

Goals from Leicester captain Ricardo Pereira and Stephy Mavididi completed the scoring for the hosts. Huddersfield captain Michal Helik pulled one back but Maresca’s side were always in control as they stretched their unbeaten record to 10 matches.

Cannon had been out of action until last month due to a stress fracture of the back which Leicester discovered when the player signed in September.

“It hasn’t been easy for Tom, he was two or three months out with the injury, then we’d been winning games with Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka,” said Maresca.

“Tom’s had to wait for his chance and, yes he scored two goals. But when you don’t play games, and suddenly you get your chance, everyone is expecting big things.

“But it’s difficult to do those things.

“I told him to ‘just go out there, and don’t think it’s your first time and you need to show people, or me, that you’re good. Because if you’re here, we think you’re good enough. Just enjoy it’.

“It’s not easy, but he gave everything along with the whole team.”

Maresca explained what happened when Cannon signed.

“We bought Tom thinking he was fit. We saw from the medical and saw he had a problem, we didn’t know that,” he said.

“It was strange as he had been playing at Everton. But I knew Tom from his loan spell at Preston last season, and he scored eight goals.

“But even though he was fit, he wouldn’t have played from the start because there are so many good forwards here.”

Cannon says he hopes to emulate Vardy at Leicester, and Maresca says he will learn from the former Golden Boot winner.

“I think if you ask any striker in the world, they would want to learn something from Jamie Vardy,” said the Italian.

“But if Tom’s 50 per cent as good as Jamie, then I’ll be happy.”

Huddersfield manager Darren Moore said Leicester showed why they are promotion favourites.

“We were beaten by the better side on the day, they’re top of the league for a reason – the players can’t feel any disgrace for their performance,” said Moore.

“The second goal was disappointing for me as that took the game away from us.

“At 3-1, we had some wonderful opportunities, if we’d taken them then it might’ve been a different end to the game.

“That’s credit to how we set up and how we go about games.

“From a mental aspect, we have that endeavour not to give up and show commitment. That’s really important and we did get back into the game.

“But when they scored the fourth goal, that was it for the game. But Michal has scored seven goals as a centre-back, but if you ask him, he’d rather have the clean sheets and the wins.

“We feel more now that we are fitter and more robust.”

Tom Cannon scored twice on his full Leicester debut as Enzo Maresca’s side strengthened their lead at the top of the Championship with a 4-1 victory over Huddersfield.

The result extended their unbeaten run to 10 games as Leicester aim to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. They now have a 10-point lead ahead of Ipswich.

It was a game of few chances in the first half, but Cannon opened the scoring five minutes before half-time with his first goal for the club.

James Justin’s cross into the 18-yard box was flicked on by Ricardo Pereira and Cannon hit the ball first time to drive it past Lee Nicholls in the Huddersfield goal.

Leicester signed the 21-year-old Cannon from Everton on deadline day last summer, even though the player was carrying a stress fracture in his back.

Maresca went ahead with the deal regardless, saying Cannon was a player for the future. He only made his debut as a substitute three weeks ago against Plymouth.

But with Leicester short on forwards, he was given his chance to start. Jamie Vardy was still missing through injury, and Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho were not named in the squad, with both due to be playing in the Africa Cup of Nations later this month.

Cannon made the most of his opportunity, and he added to his first goal with a second after the break.

Leicester went two up after 47 minutes when Abdul Fatawu found Justin who swung in a cross which was met by captain Pereira, whose header found the far corner.

Cannon scored again in the 61st minute when he collected a through ball from Harry Winks. The Leicester forward held off a challenge from Huddersfield defender Tom Lees before placing his shot past Nicholls.

But Maresca’s side appeared to lose focus after that, and Huddersfield pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute.

Lees met a corner from Sorba Thomas, and Huddersfield captain Michal Helik prodded the ball in from inside the six-yard box.

Darren Moore’s side then came close to scoring a second when Ben Wiles’ shot was deflected for a corner.

With 20 minutes left, Jack Rudoni forced Leicester goalkeeper Mads Hermansen into a save.

But Leicester restored their three-goal lead when Huddersfield substitute Loick Ayina fouled Stephy Mavididi 20 yards from goal. Mavididi took the free-kick himself and bent it through a gap in the Huddersfield wall and saw his shot find the net via the inside of the near post.

Pereira might have made it five for Leicester with three minutes left, but he swept a shot over the bar after being set up by substitute Marc Albrighton.

Huddersfield remain four points above the relegation zone.

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca says his Sky Bet Championship leaders have surprised him after passing the 60-point mark before the turn of the year with victory at Cardiff.

The Foxes strolled to a 2-0 win in the Welsh capital with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Justin James producing brilliant efforts.

Leicester now have 62 points from 25 games – eight clear of second-placed Ipswich – and are chasing Reading’s record Championship total of 106 from the 2005-06 season.

Maresca’s side are now unbeaten in nine games – seven wins and two draws – and their 20th league success came three days after drawing at Ipswich.

“I am very happy for one reason, that in this moment with this amount of games, the effort from the players has been unbelievable,” said Maresca.

“To play two games in a row away from home is very difficult, playing every three days. I think the club has to be happy.

“The fans need to be proud of these players – they are and showing the desire to win even in this period.

“To finish the year with more than 60 points. I don’t think anybody expected this, me included. Now we need to continue.”

Leicester were without Kelechi Iheanacho – who was named in Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations squad on Friday – in Cardiff.

Maresca said: “Kelechi had a muscular problem two days ago. We are still waiting to see if it is something important or something just a matter of days.

“But I don’t think will be able (to play) for next one.”

On reporting for Nigeria duty, Maresca said: “It depends on the injury. If it is an important injury for sure he has no chance to go. If it is not an important injury he can go.”

Cardiff have lost six of their last 10 games in slipping to 14th in the Championship, although they are only five points adrift of sixth-placed.

The Bluebirds lost striker Karlan Grant to injury before half-time, with boss Erol Bulut providing a gloomy update.

Bulut said: “It’s a hamstring, maybe a rupture. It doesn’t look good. We will know more when he has the scan.

On the game, Bulut – who hopes to be active in the January transfer window after “positive” talks with Cardiff owner Vincent Tan – added: “I can speak only positive things about my team and we have to continue to work on it.

“I think we are in a positive way. A good way. We cannot compare ourselves with Leicester.

“I always said we wanted to be around the play-offs. We have a lot of games to push. And also in January, I hope for a few transfers to push for more.”

Leicester continued their relentless march at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Cardiff.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and James Justin were on target with strikes that were as pure as Leicester’s command was total.

This was Leicester’s 20th win from 25 league games as the Foxes continue to hunt down Reading’s record Championship points total of 106 set in the 2005-06 season.

Enzo Maresca’s side were unruffled to complete a season’s double over their Cardiff hosts, who harbour play-off hopes but have now only won once in six home games.

Some eyebrows were raised that both sides chose to wear shirts with different forms of blue as the main colour, but it was not overly difficult to decipher who was who for large parts – Leicester were the team with the ball.

The visitors’ possession game split open the Cardiff defence after 14 minutes as Leicester moved the ball one way and then the other.

Jannik Vestergaard found Abdul Fatawu on the right and his cross found the unmarked Dewsbury-Hall with the goal at his mercy.

But Jak Alnwick sprang superbly to his right and kept out Dewsbury-Hall’s header.

Cardiff’s defence, however, were breached within four minutes as Joe Ralls was caught out by Leicester’s high press.

The Bluebirds captain lost possession and Dewsbury-Hall made no mistake this time, by arrowing home a low shot for his eighth league goal of the season.

Leicester were superbly drilled, rarely losing the ball but when doing so rushing around the Cardiff player in possession to win it back.

The Foxes went close again when Stephy Mavididi’s cross made its way to the back post but the bounce deceived Fatawu, who sent his header over.

Cardiff striker Karlan Grant limped off just before the break and his departure coincided with the Bluebirds’ best period.

Ralls twice had efforts blocked by Wout Faes and Kion Etete lacking composure at the final moment.

Leicester got the breathing space their performance deserved after 54 minues, Fatawu setting up full-back Justin for a 25-yard spectacular that flew over the head of Alnwick and into the top corner.

A rare goalscorer, it must surely rank as among the finest of Justin’s career.

Wilfred Ndidi almost put his name on the scoresheet immediately but Dimitrios Goutas’ timely block saved the beaten Alnwick.

Cardiff forced a first save from Mads Hermansen after 64 minutes, but the Leicester goalkeeper comfortably held Manolis Siopis’ low drive.

Fatawu almost matched the purity of Justin’s strike when cutting inside on his left foot from 25 yards.

The ball crashed against the far post with Patson Daka shooting over with Alnwick prostrate on the floor.

Mavididi also hit the woodwork in the closing stages as Leicester stretched their unbeaten run consisting of seven wins and two draws from nine games.

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