Brendan Rodgers admitted that Leicester City lacked belief from the outset against European champions Chelsea after suffering a 3-0 defeat.
Upon the return from the international break, Leicester lost comfortably to league leaders Chelsea. Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante gave the visitors the lead in the first half before Christian Pulisic completed the win in the second.
Leicester are winless since October and the difference in confidence showed. Table toppers Chelsea showed why they have been so strong in recent months.
Rodgers has inspired Leicester to challenge higher than expected over the past couple of seasons. But the start to the new campaign, when many thought they could maintain those levels, has not reflected that.
The manager admitted there was a confidence issue arising from the way they let Chelsea into the game.
He told BT Sport: “We conceded a disappointing goal for the corner that gave them confidence. You can see why they are European champions; they’re a top team.
“They’ve got every aspect of the game that you’d want: the physicality, technique and aggression.
“We lacked that bit of belief in getting into the game and of course you go 2-0 down.
“We had to resurrect that at half-time and in fairness to the players, their attitude, their spirit, everything was much better in the second half.
“We forced a couple of saves from [Edouard] Mendy and I was much happier in the second half.”
The opening goal for Chelsea came after a corner, leaving Rodgers with an area for his defenders to work on.
He accepted: “There are issues we can deal with [on zonal marking] that put us on the back foot. We have to defend set pieces better.”
Rodgers made a double change at half-time, introducing James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho.
He explained: “We needed to change the momentum so Madders and Kelechi gave us a bit more physicality and ability to protect the ball.”
Brendan Rodgers takes Leicester responsibility
Next up for Leicester is a chance to get back on track when they play Legia Warsaw in the Europa League on Thursday. Then, their next league game will be at home to Claudio Ranieri’s Watford.
The results need to turn around at some point and Rodgers knows he must boost the mindset of his squad.
He concluded: “The attitude is amazing but confidence is not where it has been. It is my job to bring that back.
“It has been difficult for us this season but that responsibility starts with me so I have to find a solution for it.”