- Leicester City have impressed many under Brendan Rodgers' management this season
- Former Foxes defender Gerry Taggart believes City’s young squad have shown ‘character’ to fight back after a recent blip in form
- Taggart also singled out several key players for special praise from the 2019/20 season so far
“You’re always going to have ups and downs as a young squad,” Taggart said this week. “You sometimes forget that they are young because they are doing so well, but they’ve shown really good character to fight back recently.
“Everyone has a blip as they say, but that Villa performance will help. They had a high tempo and it’s a real tonic for Rodgers, with the performance especially, and he got exactly what he wanted.
Goals: Leicester City 4 Aston Villa 0
Watch all the goals from the Foxes' 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League...
“That win will ease the players a little bit and give them that added confidence they need and a bit more self belief that they can finish in the top four.
“There’s a lot of football to be played but I have to say I fancy City to stay in that top four and reach another semi-final (in the Emirates FA Cup).
“Brendan said he was going to take the cup competitions seriously and they are in the quarter-finals, so there’s lots to play for. It heaps the focus on the players to keep going right to the end."
Taggart picked out several players for individual praise, including fellow countryman and centre-half, Jonny Evans, who has played more games (29) than any other City outfield player this campaign.
Çağlar Söyüncü has also burst onto the scene and been a real revolution and Evans is the perfect foil playing alongside Çağs.Gerry Taggart
He continued: “There’s been few, Evans has been a stand-out performer, but I would say that! He’s been a calming influence and showed his true class throughout the season.
“Wilfred Ndidi is another one who, along with Jonny, is a calmly influence and lays down the platform for the rest of the team.
“In terms of up-and-coming players, you have to pick out Harvey Barnes, whose had a really good season. He’s had a few ups and downs but it’s his first full season in the Premier League.
"Çağlar Söyüncü has also burst onto the scene and been a real revolution and Evans is the perfect foil playing alongside Çağs.
"Those four would be my picks for Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year so far."
Meanwhile, the emergence of players such as James Justin means the whole squad will benefit from having young stars breaking into the starting XI.
Taggart says Brendan Rodgers has been rewarded for putting his faith in young full-back James Justin.
“I was desperate to give Justin the Man of the Match prize against Villa, but Barnes scored two and set two up," he added.
“I’ve been really impressed with him every time I’ve seen him and the performance against Villa will have just cemented the trust Brendan has in him.
“He was excellent and Brendan will have no qualms sticking him in again.
“The team was picking itself but with Justin now, that’s not the case. Players will start to look over their shoulders and will have to raise their game even more.”
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