Ritchie De Laet: It's crunch time for Leicester City in push for glory
Leicester City are facing a make-or-break period in their promotion challenge, says defender Ritchie De Laet.
The Belgian full-back believes the next few weeks will be season-defining with a number of tough games coming up.
After this week's trip to relegation-threatened Bristol City, City face third-placed Middlesbrough at the King Power Stadium a week tomorrow.
Then it's Huddersfield in the FA Cup, followed by Dean Saunders' Wolves, Peterborough United and the re-arranged clash with leaders Cardiff City in Wales.
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After three wins in a row in all competitions, De Laet believes City have gained some vital momentum going into the second half of the campaign.
"That is what we need, momentum," he said. "We are closing the gap on second place.
"The results have gone a little bit for us as well recently but, obviously, the next few weeks will be vital, when we play Middlesbrough and Cardiff. They will be massive games for us.
"This is a vital period. When you play against teams above you in the table, you have to take points off them if you want to go places.
"I know the gap to Cardiff is massive but three points against Middlesbrough will close the gap.
"We are only three points behind Middlesbrough and five points behind Hull. There are still 17 or 18 games to go so there are plenty of chances to climb up the league."
Promotion may be top priority but De Laet is also relishing the fourth-round FA Cup clash at Huddersfield.
"The FA Cup means everything to me," he said. "As a foreigner I know about the FA Cup.
"I have been in England five years now and I know everything about it, the giant-killings and I don't want that to happen to us."
De Laet scored his second goal in as many games when he netted against Burton on Saturday, helping City avoid a potential banana skin.
"That is why we have to be professional in every game," he added.