Leicester City 0 Southampton 1: Jones propels Leicester deeper into vacuum

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For all the activity between now and the closing of the transfer window tomorrow afternoon, Leicester City are one club unlikely to be involved in any dealing.

Last week's sacking of Craig Levein has created a power vacuum at the Walkers Stadium. If the comments of Rob Kelly, the caretaker manager, after Saturday's loss to Southampton are anything to go by, identifying Levein's full-time successor is the priority.

"It's been quite a week," Kelly said. "On Wednesday morning Craig was the manager and by Wednesday night he was gone. On Thursday the players were still recovering [from Tuesday's defeat at Plymouth] so that just gave us Friday to prepare a team. I really haven't had time to think. I told the board I'd do whatever they wanted me to.

"Until I hear any different I'll just concentrate on preparing for the QPR game [tomorrow night]. We still have the opportunity to bring players in on loan after that, but I wouldn't have thought anything will happen before Tuesday night. Now I've said that I'll probably get told we've just let three players go!"

The timing of Levein's dismissal is curious. Unless an immediate appointment is made, the new manager - Gudjon Thordason, Peter Reid and Gary McAllister are among the favourites - will have to rely on the squad whose only win in their last 14 games came in the third round of the FA Cup against Spurs.

Kelly is already talking of the remainder of the season as "16 games fighting for our Championship lives". Leicester were combative on Saturday, but they managed only one shot on target.

The difference was that Saints' only meaningful attack of the second half saw Kenwyne Jones run on to Bartosz Bialkowski's clearance in injury time and shoot low into the corner. Jones had been on the pitch less than 10 minutes but his contribution was enough to take Southampton through.

The Saints chairman, Rupert Lowe, said that he would not be forced from the club and played down the chances of a consortium claiming they are set to seize control. "When, and if, we get a serious investor, or group of investors who want to make an offer for the club, we will look at what they propose," Lowe said. "But anybody who thinks they are going to buy a public company that is currently capitalised at £10m is deluding themselves."

Andrew Strode-Gibbons, who heads the consortium, believes that is the figure that would allow him and his partners to take over, and he also claimed that the director of football, Sir Clive Woodward, had lost the respect of certain players.

On the pitch, George Burley expects "three or four" new arrivals before the transfer window closes tomorrow. "There's a long way to go but we've got some good young players at the club," he said.

So do Leicester, but unless the board acts swiftly and decisively, the likes of Patrick McCarthy, Stephen Hughes and Richard Stearman may well end up fulfilling their potential away from the Walkers Stadium.

Goal: Jones (90) 0-1.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Douglas; Stearman, Gerrbrand, McCarthy, Johansson; Maybury, Gudjonsson, Hughes, Smith; Hume, Hammond (De Vries, 67). Substitutes not used: O'Grady (gk), Henderson, Wesolowski, Kisnorbo.

Southampton (4-4-2): Bialkowski; Baird, Lundekvam, Higginbotham, Brennan; Dyer, Prutton (Gillett, 35), Potter, Oakley; Pahars, Blackstock (Jones, 83). Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Fuller, Crane.

Referee: N Miller (Durham). Booked: Leicester Stearman; Southampton Blackstock.

Man of the match: McCarthy.

Attendance: 20,427.

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