Brendan Rodgers reiterates desire to continue as Leicester boss

News Desk
Brendan Rodgers during a training session

Brendan Rodgers admits that he understands criticism directed at him but has reiterated his desire to continue working as Leicester manager.

The Northern Irishman has been in charge of the Foxes since February 2019 and guided them to successive fifth-placed Premier League finishes in the last two seasons, plus winning the 2020-21 FA Cup.

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They are currently 11th and exited this term’s FA Cup with a 4-1 loss at Nottingham Forest earlier this month. That was part of a run of five matches without a win halted by Thursday’s 4-1 home victory over Danish side Randers in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off.

Rodgers had spoken in the build-up to that game – which they are playing after coming third in their Europa League group – about the love and “big energy” he had for a job he would continue to do “with a smile, until someone tells me differently”.

And when asked, ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Wolves, about talk there has been regarding his position and if he was concerned about his future, Rodgers told a press conference: “I think it’s one where you can only do your best.

“I think we’ve started out on a journey here of which we are nowhere near finished. We’re nearly three years in working together and we’ve made some greats steps going forward.

“Progress isn’t always linear, there’s going to be fits and starts and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist, I think it’s logic, when you see where we are this year, if you look at the players we’ve been missing.

“It’s a challenge in itself to be up there competing when you have all your players fit. But we’ll keep fighting and for me, it’s about returning to our level of football and I know in time we will get to that and we’ll get players back and then that’s all you can do.

“I’ve loved every second of being here. I understand the criticism, because when you don’t get results, that will always come your way. So I will take that.

“But for me, I love working with the players, the club have been very supportive of me and I will continue to do that until I’m told otherwise.”

When Rodgers was subsequently asked about how he viewed Leicester’s fixtures for the rest of the season, he said with a smile: “I couldn’t afford to look – because I might not be here! Look to the next game – that’s the mantra. So that’s all we’re doing.”

Immediately after the loss at Forest, Rodgers had said of his players that “there are a lot…between now and the end of the season, who need to prove they are still worthy of being here”.

The Northern Irishman, whose side then lost 2-0 at Liverpool and drew 2-2 with West Ham in the league prior to the win over Randers, added ahead of Sunday’s contest at Wolves: “I always think to be honest is the easiest way.

“I’ve always been very supportive…but sometimes it is being harsh that gets clarity to players – and me myself, I prefer to be told.

“With players now, the modern player that is in the bubbles they’re in, if you’re not telling them, who is? Because their agents probably may not be and they’re in such a bubble where they don’t get told and supporters will love them I’m sure.

“So I’ve always been honest with players, but there is a fine line. But hopefully we see the reaction we’ve had since the Forest game.

“The players know I’m with them and will always give them everything to help them develop their career.”

James Maddison (unwell) and Caglar Soyuncu (knee) are being assessed after having to come off during the win against Randers, in which Wilfred Ndidi, Harvey Barnes, Patson Daka and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored.