Belfast Telegraph

Rodgers is wary of Magpies on their home ground

 

Tough task: Brendan Rodgers takes Leicester to Newcastle
Tough task: Brendan Rodgers takes Leicester to Newcastle

By Nick Mashiter

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has warned the Foxes to expect a different Newcastle test this time around.

The Foxes thumped the Magpies 5-0 in September, their biggest home win of the season, which left Newcastle in the bottom three.

Steve Bruce's side now sit 11th, seven points clear of danger, ahead of Leicester's visit today.

Rodgers has guided the Foxes to second in the Premier League, 13 points behind leaders Liverpool, but is wary of the hosts.

"We obviously played very well against them earlier on in the season, but going to St. James' Park is tough," said Rodgers.

"Their style and how the team plays is pretty much set. We're going to have to be patient in the game but play at speed. They'll be in a deep block, not too far away from the box.

"We have to work the ball at speed and quality to work the opportunities. Again, there's not an easy game in the Premier League.

"You have to be at your maximum to get the results, but we go there with great confidence and hopefully we can get three points."

Jamie Vardy should return after missing Saturday's 2-1 win at West Ham for the birth of his daughter, and Ricardo Pereira is also due to make his comeback having sat out as a precaution due to a hamstring issue.

Rodgers is also looking at new recruits in the transfer window but is in no panic to add.

"Every manager would say the earlier you can do it the better, but it's not my ultimate thinking, my thinking is just focusing on the players I have," he said.

"Trying to improve them and make them better is the aim, and then if we get any players in during January, great, but if we don't then we've seen at West Ham the depth we have."

Meanwhile, Andy Carroll is putting all talk of his future on hold as he attempts to help Newcastle return to winning ways.

The 30-year-old striker is attempting to rebuild his career with his home-town club after finally returning from ankle surgery to remind onlookers of the the attributes which almost nine years ago prompted Liverpool to invest a hasty £35million in his services.

Carroll arrived back at St James' Park on a highly-incentivised initial 12-month pay-as-you-play deal, hoping to persuade the Magpies' hierarchy to offer him a longer stay, although ahead of Leicester's New Year's Day visit to Tyneside, he is refusing to look too far into the future.

He said: "I want to stay as long as possible. I'm happy. I haven't spoken to anybody about contracts and I won't.

"I will just see how it goes."

Carroll played the full 90 minutes in Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Everton, the Magpies' first in the league at home since the opening day of the campaign, and he and his team-mates are looking for a swift response to that and their Boxing Day loss at Old Trafford.

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