Belfast Telegraph

New boss Rodgers’ post-match speech had Leicester buzzing – Stowell

Rodgers has signed a deal until 2022 after leaving Celtic.

Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, left, celebrates his ninth goal of the season (Nigel French/PA)
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, left, celebrates his ninth goal of the season (Nigel French/PA)

Leicester caretaker boss Mike Stowell said Brendan Rodgers’ rousing speech after victory over Brighton inspired his new squad.

Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy struck to seal a gritty 2-1 win as Rodgers watched from the stands at the King Power Stadium.

The 46-year-old joined from Celtic earlier on Tuesday, signing a deal until 2022.

Davy Propper pulled a goal back but Leicester hung on to rise to 10th in the Premier League.

Rodgers spoke to the squad afterwards and left an instant impression.

Stowell said: “He’s just come into the dressing room after the game. He was very positive, bouncing. We’re all desperate to start working with him.

“He said before that he was just going to leave it and observe from up there. He said call the subs yourself and just get on with it but he’s going to bring something special to the club.

“He spoke and the lads were in awe listening to him. He said ‘I’ve only left to come here for one reason and that’s to work with this group of players’. That speaks volumes for this young group of players.”

Gray scored Leicester’s earliest Premier League goal of the season after 10 minutes but the hosts had to wait until the 63rd minute to double their advantage when Vardy drilled in.

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Mike Stowell took charge of Leicester against Brighton (Nigel French/PA)

Glenn Murray had earlier missed a sitter with Brighton trailing 1-0 but Propper made it 2-1 within three minutes of Vardy’s strike as Rodgers watched his side hang on.

The Foxes’ England defender Harry Maguire told the BBC: “Celtic are a massive club so it shows how big Leicester are getting and our ambitions. It’s exciting times.

“We know he’s coached a lot of young players and we hope he can bring them on – we’re all excited.

“We want to look up rather than down now. The performances haven’t been too bad but the results haven’t been good enough.”

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Harry Maguire is looking forward to working with Rodgers (Mike Egerton/PA)

Rodgers believes he is taking over a squad with “huge potential”.

He told LCFC TV: “It’s a young squad, a very dynamic squad, it’s got huge potential and you’ve got some of the players with good experience also.

“It feels great. I know I’m joining a fantastic club that has grown so quickly over these last few years.”

Brighton are just three points above the relegation zone and are yet to win in the top flight in 2019.

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Chris Hughton and Brighton’s woes deepened (Nigel French/PA)

Chris Hughton’s side are winless in seven and the only team in England’s top four divisions yet to win this year, and the boss bemoaned Murray’s miss.

He said: “There’ll be no one more disappointed that him. If there’s anyone you want those chances to go to, it would be him. But he’s certainly not going to shy away from putting himself in the firing line.

“Of course the game is won and lost at both ends and at the moment we’re not putting away opportunities and so we have to make sure we’re not conceding.

“Those small margins are not going for us at the moment and it’s only us that can do something about it.”

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