Striker Jamie Vardy said keeping Leicester City in the Premier League would be the biggest achievement of his career as the club sit in the relegation zone with three games left to play.
Vardy helped Leicester win the league title in the 2015-16 season, scoring 24 goals as the team triumphed after starting the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders.
But they are fighting for top-flight survival this time around with the team third from bottom and two points from safety.
“I think at this moment in time it (survival) would be the biggest achievement. That’s how important it is,” Vardy told TalkSPORT radio.
“It’s hard and I don’t think hurting is actually a strong enough word for personally how I’m feeling as a person, being here that long.
“Being on all the ups and downs throughout all of the time that I’ve been here, I’ve never wanted to see us be in a situation like that again, so to be where we are, it’s hard to take.”
Vardy said it was difficult to pinpoint what had gone wrong this season for Leicester, who parted ways with manager Brendan Rodgers last month.
“If you ask 99% of people they couldn’t have seen this happening,” said Vardy.
“It’s been tough trying to work out the whys and what’s gone on to get us to be in this situation, you can’t put your finger on it.”
Leicester, who won the 2020-21 FA Cup, host Liverpool on Monday before facing Newcastle United away and West Ham United at home.