Rodgers picks out one Leicester man for special praise

Date published: Saturday 25th January 2020 4:47

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for match-winner Kelechi Iheanacho after his goal booked their place in the FA Cup fifth round.

The Foxes kept their hopes of a cup double alive as the Nigerian scored the only goal of the game in the fourth minute at Brentford.

Leicester were missing top goalscorer Jamie Vardy at Griffin Park due to a glute injury suffered in Wednesday’s win over West Ham, but Iheanacho filled the void impressively and scored his seventh goal of the season.

Rodgers said: “For Kels, he is getting better and better. He is so efficient now in his game. He is working so hard. He creates goals, he scores goals and I am delighted for him.”

Rodgers said Vardy was “responding well to the treatment”, but the manager was still unsure whether the striker would be fit for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa, where a win will send his side to Wembley.

Rodgers added: “He was really sore after the (West Ham) game, but that has eased up after the last day or so. We will find out (if he can play on Tuesday) tomorrow when we are in.”

With Leicester on course to quality for the Champions League, alongside their cup exploits, they are on course for a memorable campaign, but Rodgers warned there was still plenty of hard work ahead.

The Northern Irishman said: “Every club has priorities but, for us, what we’ve hopefully shown is we want to do as well as we possibly can in every competition we’re in.

“We have the semi-final on Tuesday. We are into the fifth round of the FA Cup and in a really healthy position in the league, but we know we have a lot of work to do.

“The assessment is at the end of the season. Let’s see where we finish, but up until that point we have to fight and run and do the very best we can.”

The Leicester manager also confirmed defender Filip Benkovic was set to leave the club on loan this month, but only if the Foxes can secure the services of a centre-back.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank was proud of his young team, which included six players aged 20 or below.

The Bees, who made nine chances, will host Championship rivals Nottingham Forest on Tuesday in a crucial match in the battle for promotion.

“Of course the Tuesday game is more important, but we wanted to win both games,” Frank said.

“A lot of players did well. It is difficult to praise some in front of others because more of less everybody played to a seven or eight out of 10.”

 

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