Rodgers cites FA Cup ‘respect’ after assessing scale of Leicester achievement

Date published: Sunday 18th April 2021 9:06 - Steve Pearson

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Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers indicated the desire of his side’s fanbase to lift the FA Cup contributed towards their run to the final.

Leicester booked their place in the FA Cup final after surviving a nervy contest with Southampton. Neither side produced their best on the evening, perhaps inhibited by the weight of the occasion.

Nevertheless, the Foxes’ red-hot frontman, Kelechi Iheanacho, stood up when it mattered most.

The striker rolled the ball beyond Fraser Forster at the second time of asking after superb work down the left from Jamie Vardy.

The final with be Leicester’s fifth in the competition, emerging as runners up on each of the previous four occasions.

Now, only Chelsea stand in their way of breaking their duck in the competition.

Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Rodgers said: “Amazing, the club has waited a long time to get to a final and it’s a trophy desired by the supporters.

MATCH REPORT: Leicester seize FA Cup final berth after double act produce trademark moment

“We deserved it today, we defended strong, Southampton can score great goals and have players that can hurt you but we conceded no efforts on goal and we looked bright in our attack and should’ve had more than one goal. Pleased for everyone, the players and the club and fans it’s a massive achievement.

“It’s always a tight game, a semi-final. There weren’t many chances yesterday either, the players and the concentration was very good.

“We could’ve been better with the ball at times, we were a bit loose at times but Southampton press you well. As the game went on our patterns were better and we got into some good areas.”

On Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho, Rodgers added: “The two of them are a real threat, Jamie [Vardy] is disappointed he didn’t score in first half but he’s a threat, his clever play for the goal, his movement in behind.

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“He may not have scored but he gives us so much thrust at the top.

“He’s [Iheanacho] a great guy works so hard he always feels he can score, his build up play could be improved at times but the front two really pressed and that set the team up to defend well.”

On reaching the FA Cup final, Rodgers concluded: “It’s something that I was well aware of round here I know it’s a competition that means a lot to the supporters and we’ve tried to show it that respect.

“We’re in the final now we’ve got to get back and recover and have a good game on Thursday and the challenge now is to get points on the board in the league.”

 

“Dream come true” for Leicester matchwinner

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Matchwinner Iheanacho also spoke to the press, telling the BBC: “It is a dream come true, loving it.

“I am happy. We did it together to get to the final. I watched the FA Cup when I was little and now I get the chance to play in the final. Such a big dream for me.

“We did it together as a team. I am proud of that. Really happy. We are really happy to have some fans today, it is not easy with everything going on but hopefully the final there will be a lot more.

“I just want to concentrate and keep working hard. Of course it is amazing when you count the goals but my focus is to keep working hard.”

On his lethal partnership with Jamie Vardy, Iheanacho told BT Sport: “The partnership between me and Jamie [Vardy] is outstanding, he’s got the pace, he’s got everything and he’s a great player.”

 

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