Belfast Telegraph

Leicester comfortable challenging at the top – Rodgers

Leicester’s manager insists there is a long way to go in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers says his team are comfortable being among the current challengers in the Premier League (John Walton/PA)
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers says his team are comfortable being among the current challengers in the Premier League (John Walton/PA)

By George Sessions, PA

Brendan Rodgers will not put any pressure on his Leicester players but says the team are comfortable challenging the Premier League big boys again.

A 2-0 win at Crystal Palace – following second-half goals by Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy – moved the Foxes above Chelsea and into third position.

Leicester are six points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal after a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions and right now look on course for the Champions League.

Rodgers said: “The team is playing well, but we are certainly not getting carried away and will not try to give the players any pressure.

“They have been absolutely brilliant since I’ve come in, they want to get better and want to learn and are hungry to learn.

“My senior players are first class. The spirit is very good and they understand we are trying to create something here we can sustain.

“We have had a very good start, some very good performances and different wins and we are constantly looking to improve and with 10 games to go, let’s see where we are.”

Not since Leicester’s shock Premier League title win in 2016 have the Foxes been consistently in the upper echelons of the table.

While no one is predicting Rodgers’ men will stay as the nearest challenger to leaders Liverpool and Manchester City, the former Celtic boss says his squad are happy to be in the mix after 11 matches this season.

He added: “We always want to do better, but we are comfortable with the fact we are challenging.

“People asked about European football at the beginning of the season and I said ‘listen, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves’ because there are some incredible teams in this league.

“It was about ‘let’s work and see where it takes us’ so we are in a good place, but there is a long way to go.”

Palace not only failed to pick up any points, but saw a number of players pick up knocks during the encounter at Selhurst Park.

James McArthur was forced off with a back injury while Cheikhou Kouyate and Gary Cahill were involved in a sickening clash of heads.

But Roy Hodgson admitted: “It was strange because it wasn’t a dirty game by any stretch of the imagination.

“It was collisions, it was slightly mistimed challenges with no particular malice so in that respect I thought the game was fought with respect and with respect to the laws and spirit of the game.

“We came off counting our injuries today and it’s not going to be long before Saturday to put those things right.”

He added: “The worse one is McArthur because he has been struggling with a back injury.

“As for Gary and Cheikhou, they were blows to the head, which we see more and more these days.

“I don’t think either of those two will be out of training on Tuesday but they may have a sore head this evening and they will need tomorrow to recover.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph