Joey Barton made no apology for effectively giving up his first game as a manager against Premier League opposition before a ball had been kicked.
Barton changed his entire starting line-up from Fleetwood’s draw in League One against Charlton at the weekend so it was little surprise Leicester cantered to victory with goals from Christian Fuch, Vicente Iborra, Kelechi Iheanacho and Rachid Ghezzal, two in each half.
‘I don’t want to be disrespectful to the Carabao Cup but it comes off the back of us playing loads of games,’ said Barton.
Christian Fuchs put Leicester ahead with an extraordinary goal from 25 yards out
Fuchs is mobbed by his Foxes team-mates after a thunderous strike put them into the lead
Vincent Iborra celebrates after heading in a cross from Fuchs to double Leicester’s lead
Kelechi Iheanacho drilled home in the 46th minute to make Leicester’s victory safe
LEICESTER (4-2-3-1): Ward 6; Amartey 7, Morgan 6 (Benkovic 62 6), Evans 6, Fuchs 8; Iborra 7, Silva 6; Ghezzal 7 (Diabate 75 6), Okazaki 6.5, Albrighton 7; Iheahacho 5.5 (Gray 50 6)
SUBS NOT USED: Jakupovic, Maddison, Mendy, Knight
GOALS: Fuchs 9, Iborra 39, Iheanacho 46, Ghezzal
MANAGER: Claude Puel, 7
FLEETWOOD (4-4-2): P Jones 6.5; G Jones 6, Bolger 5.5, Spurr 5.5, Maguire 6 (Hill 61 6); Grant 6 (Wallace 67 6), Sheron 6.5, Biggins 6, Dempsey 6; Long 6 (Madden 61 6), McAleny 5.5
SUBS NOT USED: Cairns, Holt, Eastham, Burns
MANAGER: Joey Barton, 5.5
‘We got back in the wee hours of Thursday morning from a game last week and then had another long trip to Charlton at the weekend. We don’t have the ability to fly back from away matches on private jets.
‘Our expectation was not to win the competition. I’m a young manager and I’ve got to be mindful of managing the squad. Look at what happened to Kevin Nolan at Notts County (sacked).
‘Yes, we got a battering but Leicester at another level. They can bring in replacements like Christian Fuchs who can volley them in from 30 yards.’
Foxes boss Claude Puel made eight changes of his own but his squad is strong these days.
Fuchs, one of the club’s 2016 title heroes, marked his first appearance of the season by scoring his first goal for 18 months with a stunning half-volley after Fleetwood had half-cleared a corner.
The left-back then broke forward to set up the killer second goal after 39 minutes that effectively killed the tie.
Rachid Ghezzal scored a fantastic fourth goal for Leicester from 25 yards out
Iheanacho was earlier denied a goal by last-ditch measures imposed from Tommy Spurr
Iheanacho, deputising for the suspended Jamie Vardy, endured a nightmare first half by missing a hatful of chances but redeemed himself just 13 seconds after the restart by slotting home Marc Albrighton’s pass for his side’s third goal.
The Nigerian was replaced shortly afterwards to save him for Saturday’s biggie against Liverpool but the 1997 and 2000 League Cup winners still added a fourth with Ghezzal marking his first start for the club following a move from Monaco striking from long-range.
Leicester fans hope the winger will be a long-term replacement for Riyad Mahrez and Puel said: ‘He can always create something different.
‘It was a very good professional performance. I made some rotation but the idea is to go as far in this competitions as we can. This cup is a possibility to win something.’
Harry Maguire (Second left) and Jamie Vardy (right) pictured watching Leicester in action
Fleetwood manager Joey Barton shouts instructions to his team during the first-half
Leicester manager Claude Puel wishes Barton well after the final whistle on Tuesday night
Jones saved his side a heavier beating by twice saving well from Iheanacho’s replacement, Demarai Gray while at the other end, Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward couldn’t have faced a quieter debut following his summer move from Liverpool.
Puel said he was ‘sad’ about the decision by Vardy – who signed a new Leicester contract on August 9 – to retire from international football
The Foxes boss said: ‘We discussed it two or three weeks ago. He took his decision, we have to respect his decision. I am just a little sad about it because like a fan in the national team, he gave his best.
‘Now he will dedicate his time for his club and to continue to give his best.’