Leicester City

Leicester City


Brendan Rodgers suggests Leicester sack close with tribute to owners; says players ‘didn’t deserve’ thrashing

Brendan Rodgers of Leicester

Brendan Rodgers has indicated he could soon be let go by Leicester City by saying he ‘totally understands’ frustration from the club’s fans and that he will respect the owners no matter what.

Leicester’s start to the campaign went from bad to worse as they were thrashed 6-2 by Tottenham in north London. Their frailty at set pieces once again came to the fore as Spurs bagged twice from corners.

James Maddison was a bright spark and continued his impressive start to the season with a goal. Youri Tielemans also scored an early penalty.

But it wasn’t enough and Leicester were blown away by a 14-minute hat-trick from substitute Son Heung-min, who returned to form in spectacular style.

The pressure is mounting on Rodgers as Leicester sit bottom of the Premier League. They have lost six of their first seven games, while the other match ended in a draw.

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports (via BBC Sport), Rodgers analysed the latest defeat by saying: “For 73 minutes it was a good game and we were arguably the better side with the chances we created. We got punished for mistakes.

“I asked the players to play with courage and be brave and they were that. We conceded early in the second half for 3-2 and Hugo Lloris makes a great save for 3-3. And then we lose the ball and they break away. At 4-2 it becomes open and that’s about managing the game and the scoreline.

“Our two centre-backs were fantastic but in the last period we were so keen to get something back and that left them isolated. The scoreline looks worse than the game was.

‘I feel for the players’ – Brendan Rodgers

“I feel for the players. They didn’t deserve that. They were brave in the pressing. We played well ourselves, created opportunities. Lloris made some great saves. We have to be better at key defensive moments.

“It’s been disappointing. We’ve scored goals, looked creative. It’s mistakes that have been costing us. When you haven’t won games your confidence can take a hit. It’s been a really difficult start. We have the international break to recover.”

Rodgers was then quizzed about his future and whether he feels the pressure of a potential sacking. His response suggested a parting of ways could soon happen.

“Very much so [I feel the pressure]. I come in every day and do my work. I totally understand the frustration of supporters. [You] can’t hide from that. It’s my responsibility.

“Whatever happens I’ll have a huge amount of respect for them [the owners] because they’ve given me great support. I understand the game.

“The scoreline didn’t reflect the game but the bottom line is it’s a heavy defeat. They’ve given me brilliant support. Whatever happens to me at Leicester whether I stay and fight on, I’ll always respect them.”

Maddison urges players to take blame, not Rodgers

Goalscorer Maddison said: “It is tough to debrief it in my head so quickly after. People will check the scoreline and see 6-2 and think ‘wow, Leicester got battered again’ but I don’t think that was the case.

“We’ve worked so hard on the training ground this week because we know we need to produce better results and in the first half it felt like the Leicester we know and the Brendan Rodgers side we’ve produced in the last few years, with the high press and creating chances. It is tough to take.

“We conceded from a couple of set pieces which is always disappointing, especially if I told you how many hours we’ve spent on that because it was a weakness last year. We’ve brought in a set-piece coach and everyone has really bought into that.

“The players should definitely be taking some of the brunt [not just Rodgers]. It is a collective, it’s not the manager, we are an XI out there. It hurts when you really respect the manager and ultimately we are the players out there and we haven’t been delivering recently.”

Meanwhile, former Leicester captain Wes Morgan has questioned the club’s decision to appoint a set-piece coach after they conceded from two corners in the first half against Tottenham.