Brendan Rodgers

We're Ready To Go, Says Rodgers

Leicester City's players have returned from the Premier League's inaugural winter break ready to confront the final phase of the 2019/20 season, says manager Brendan Rodgers.
More on this story...

- Brendan Rodgers provides an update on his squad's fitness following the winter break
- The Leicester City manager says his players are 'fresh' ahead of the Premier League's final 13 games
- City face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Friday evening (8pm kick-off)
- Rodgers also elaborates on the fitness of Wilfred Ndidi, Wes Morgan and Matty James

The Foxes travel to Molineux on Friday evening to tackle Wolverhampton Wanderers a fortnight following the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at King Power Stadium (8pm kick-off).

Rodgers' first team squad were invited to spend time with their families over the past two weeks, but since returning, they have been working at Belvoir Drive preparing for the test at Wolves.

Discussing the decision to allow his players a lengthy rest period following a hectic December and January in three competitions, Rodgers described the need for a 'total break' from football.

"A lot of them went away to spend time with family and friends, to have a rest from football, and now they’re ready to go," the Northern Irishman told the national media on Wednesday.

"There’s no doubt it was definitely something that will benefit them, just to break the cycle was important, mentally as well as physically.

"The players had individual programmes while they were away, so they weren’t escaping total physical exertion.

"We’re all fresh ahead of this final third of the season. They’re all ready and trained really well this week.

It was a case of allowing them to go away to spend time with their family because we’re very much in each other’s pockets for most of the year.

Brendan Rodgers

"My decision was [based on the fact that] the players see enough of each other, every day for large parts of the season.

"There are parts of the season when you’ll take them away, but the choice was to give them a total break with their families.

"It was a case of allowing them to go away to spend time with their family because we’re very much in each other’s pockets for most of the year."

The 47-year-old also elaborated further on the Club's move to sign defender Ryan Bennett on loan from Friday's opponents, Wolves, on loan until the end of the season.

"I was delighted to bring Ryan in," Rodgers added. "He was a player I tried to take to Swansea when I was the manager there.

"He was a young player at Peterborough, he was a big talent, and he’s gone on to have a really, really good career.

"Jonny [Evans] and Çağs (Çağlar Söyüncü) have been outstanding this season and, with Wes [Morgan] as cover, we wanted Filip [Benković] to get minutes.

"For that, we needed someone to come in to be a part of our squad. He fits the bill, he’s a warrior, he knows the game and he defends well.

"He’s there to push the players who are playing and he’s comfortable in a number of systems. He won’t be able to play against Wolves because that’s his team, but after that, he’ll be ready to play.

"He’s come in to support us and for us to work with him. He’s a good guy and he’s a top-class player that’s really going to support the squad."

Providing an update on the fitness of several City stars, Rodgers added: "Wes is back in the squad and trained, so he's come through that fine.

"Wilfred Ndidi is probably going to be doubtful for this game. He came back very, very quickly and played in the West Ham and Aston Villa games, but it was just a little reaction to his operation. We'll see how he is. 

"Matty James wasn't going to be fit enough at the start of the season to play as he was recovering from several issues. We didn't want to put him under pressure.

"He's been able to sustain that fitness now and we were able to include him in the squad. He's working hard and getting fitter all the time.

"To have him as a possibility, with the quality I've seen in him, makes us very happy. He's played in some of the Under-23s games, the one at Newport, so it's just a case of him continuing with that work."

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