Brendan Rodgers reaction: Leicester boss names two key aspects in Forest win; sends Southgate message over Maddison

Brendan Rodgers Leicester v Forest

Brendan Rodgers felt two aspects were key to Leicester’s thumping 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest that took them off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Rodgers breathed a sigh of relief and piled the pressure on Steve Cooper as Leicester ended their winless start to the season at the eighth attempt with a fine victory over their East Midlands rivals at the King Power.

In a meeting of two under-pressure managers and their struggling teams, Rodgers celebrated at full-time after Leicester hit three in 10 first-half minutes – two from the outstanding James Maddison either side of Harvey Barnes’ curling strike.

Maddison then turned provider in the second half, teeing up substitute Patson Daka for the final blow.

It was enough to lift Leicester off the foot of the table at the expense of Forest, and a much-needed success for Rodgers as Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha jetted in to watch his first match in person in six weeks.

Speaking after the game, Rodgers told Sky Sports: “It’s been too long [since they last won] but I thought we were excellent tonight, with our intensity and pressing in the game.

“It was a great night for the players and brilliant for the fans. I said if we could get a result tonight then we could push on.

“We’ve got a lot of technically gifted players. But you can’t win football matches without the desire to win the game

“In key moments in other games we haven’t defended well but we have tonight and we’ve kept a clean sheet, which is also very important.”

Maddison deserves England break

Rodgers was also asked about Maddison’s form, with a World Cup on the horizon.

He added: “It’s such a shame for the country and for him himself [that he’s not in the squad]. You can see his talent and his performances at this level in the last 18 months.

“James is an absolutely brilliant player and I hope he can somehow get into the team because if you want creativity and personality then he’s an absolutely outstanding player. He has improved his defensive ability too.

“He’s a great, great lad and to work with him every day is an absolute joy. He’s very focused and he’s just got so many qualities, so I think he’s at least deserving on being in the squad.”

Signs are good for Barnes 

Harvey Barnes, who scored Leicester’s second, added: “It was so enjoyable. After last season the result [4-1 loss versus Forest in February] in the FA Cup it made it a little bit more special. A derby game, with the season we have had, we were desperate for that win.

“We’ve played some good football this year, scoring a lot but also conceding a lot. So the clean sheet tonight is probably as enjoyable as the goals.

“We spoke how important it would be to get a quick start. It was a derby game so it was going to be feisty. An early goal helps and gave us confidence for the rest of the game.

“That clean sheet was important in the end. We know we can keep the ball out of the net. And we have the quality going forward to score goals.

“There have been a lot of mistakes. We are still playing some good football at times but also switching off, but the signs are there. It has been a long time coming and hopefully this is the start of a good run of results for us. Getting that first win will take a weight off everyone’s shoulders.”