Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers: The Players Have Pushed Themselves To The Limit

Brendan Rodgers believes his Leicester City squad have coped well with the physicality of their training sessions while out in Évian-les-Bains.
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On Friday, the Foxes completed their final full day on the shores of Lake Geneva, and will take part in final training session on Saturday morning before flying back to England in the afternoon.

The challenge of developing their football fitness is one that Rodgers says his players have risen to, but the Northern Irishman knows there’s still plenty of work to do prior to the new campaign.

“I think in our first week, we’ve given them a lot and there’s been a lot of volume in terms of the football side,” the manager told LCFC TV.

“How I tend to work is very much football fitness, which is based around multidirectional work as well as physical, so that’s very tough when you first come back.

First Team

Rodgers Lauds Players' Commitment In Évian

Brendan Rodgers says his 'hugely talented' Foxes have pushed themselves to the limit during their pre-season training camp in Évian-les-Bains.

“Likewise, here and obviously with the heat added to that as well, but they’ve all pushed themselves to the limit, which is very important – for them to gain that physicality of how we want them to play.

“They need to work very, very hard in training and suffer in training because it makes it that bit easier when you go into the games. They’ve coped very well.

“It’s been tough for them, it’s been hard, but I think they’ve enjoyed the aspects of having the football. They’ve all really focused on their work, and it’s been really good.”

At the start of the week, City contested two double sessions, while on Wednesday and Thursday, their workload was reduced to allow for recovery after a testing two days in the south-east France sun.

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

“In terms of where they’re at physically, we’re very pleased and because we’ve still got a long way to go, we’re actually slightly ahead of where we thought we would be,” said Rodgers. “You get the feel with the players.

“Of course, you’ve got to keep pushing them, but there is that time for recovery, especially with the likes of Jonny Evans and Ben [Chilwell] and those guys just coming back in on Monday, Harry [Maguire] also.

“It’s just [about] making sure that they can cope, as well as all of the other players because they’ve been working very, very hard. It just breaks the cycle and allows them to recover. They can then push to the limit in their next sessions.”

Away from the training pitches, downtime in the afternoons and evenings has given staff and players an opportunity to continue to build relationships ahead of Rodgers’ first full season as City manager.

[We’ve] had late night sessions talking through our culture, our beliefs and what we value in the team and how that will hold strong for us throughout the season.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

He said: “What you have when you’re away somewhere like this, where there’s not many distractions, you get the chance to be close and have that bond on the field, and that social bond. That’s going to be really important for us, the spirit of the squad.

“Already, you sense the feeling around the squad. It’s very exciting. We’ve got lots of talented players and players coming into the squad. We’re building this culture and this feeling that can hopefully see us over the long game of the season.

“There are different personalities [in the squad]. It’s important that we’re all flying in one direction. That’s what we’ve been going through this week as well.

“[We’ve] had late night sessions talking through our culture, our beliefs and what we value in the team and how that will hold strong for us throughout the season.”

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James Justin, Andy King and Brendan Rodgers
James Justin, Andy King and Brendan Rodgers

For Rodgers, the challenge is to marry up the work rate and talent of the Club’s stars in order for them to be a force in the Premier League in 2019/20.

He added: “You get different characters, different personalities, some introverts, some extroverts and some funny guys as well. It’s a great mix. 

“What I have is a real honest group of players who are hugely talented and what we’re looking to do is just bring that altogether and look to get that ready for the beginning of the season.

“Like I say, it’s the long haul. This is the start. We’re looking to put real pillars in place now that are going to allow us to grow and develop over the season.”

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