Brendan Rodgers

Roberts: Rodgers Has Brought Another Dimension Of Play

Iwan Roberts believes Leicester City’s success in 2019/20 is borne out of Brendan Rodgers’ ability to motivate his players.
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- Former striker Iwan Roberts assesses Leicester City’s 2019/20 Premier League campaign under manager Brendan Rodgers
- The Northern Irishman has brought another dimension of play to the Foxes, according to Roberts
- The Welshman also spoke proudly of his affinity with the Football Club, and his relationship with the Blue Army

With nine fixtures to play, the current season was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a return date is yet to be confirmed.

During the period away from football, Roberts spoke to LCFC.com about the impact manager Rodgers has had on the Club since he joined in February 2019.

“Brendan has brought another dimension to Leicester’s play,” Roberts said. “He’s filled them with confidence and he’s a magnificent motivator. I think the players have jumped on board with where he wants to take the Football Club.

“He’s improved the youngsters. You look at young Harvey Barnes, who’s played well. He needed to add goals to his game and he’s now starting to score them. He’s got six in the Premier League along with the goals that he’s created.

“You see young Çağlar Söyüncü has come in and he looks as if he’s been part of the team for years and years next to Jonny Evans, who’s been magnificent for years and years. You don’t realise what a good player Wilfred Ndidi is until he’s not there.

“When he’s out of the side, he’s sorely missed. Ricardo Pereira, down that right-hand side, is as good as any right-back in that division. I think he’s improved.”

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After 29 games played, Leicester currently occupy third spot in the top division of English football, and Rodgers knows the Blue Army will be pleased with their team’s efforts this term.

“I think it’s been a tremendous season, I really, really do,” Roberts said. "At the start of the season, I think Brendan came out and said that the target that he’d set the squad was to finish in the European places, and that’s where they sit at the minute.

“They’re third and eight points clear of fifth. They’ve had a great cup run in the League Cup and they were so unfortunate to go out the way they did at Villa Park in that second leg.

“Even though the first seven games of the second half of the season haven’t reached the heights that the first half of the season did, the football that they’ve played, the goals that they’ve scored and defensively, they look rock solid.

“They went to Southampton and won 9-0 there – a record for an away win. It’s been a great season. Yes, there have been a few blips here and there, but who doesn’t suffer them in a season?

“Every club in every division has a blip in a 10-month season. All in all, any Leicester fan must be absolutely delighted with where Brendan has taken the team.”

They’ve signed a better quality of player to improve the squad. There’s a group of players at Leicester that can take them to the next level.

Iwan Roberts LCFC.com

Roberts spoke highly of Leicester’s ambition, and with a new training ground and King Power Stadium expansion on the horizon, the former striker is optimistic about the Club’s future.

He continued: “If you stand still, you don’t progress. You look at the last five, six or seven years. Leicester have just got better and better.

“They’ve signed a better quality of player to improve the squad. There’s a group of players at Leicester that can take them to the next level.

“I loved playing at Filbert Street, under the lights for those night games. Belvoir Drive was probably the best training facility that I had trained at, and even that has improved immensely since I was at the Club.

“Now, I’ve seen plans for the new training facility, and it looks amazing. It caters for every need a player could ask for and could want, but that’s where clubs have to be.

“You have to compete with the very, very best in the game, and by doing that, you have to invest in infrastructure and players. That’s what Leicester is aiming for.”

I have a great rapport with the Leicester fans and I was fortunate to score two on my debut. That song, I think the fans made up after I scored a hat-trick against Derby.

Iwan Roberts LCFC.com

An immensely popular figure at the Foxes after spending three seasons leading their attack, Roberts’ name is still often sung aloud by the Blue Army, who recall the Welshman’s goalscoring record against rivals Derby County.

“It’s magnificent,” he added. “It means that you did something quite well at the time that you were at the Club. It does mean a great deal.

“I have a great rapport with the Leicester fans and I was fortunate to score two on my debut. That song, I think the fans made up after I scored a hat-trick against Derby.

“I remember being sent a video from the Atlético Madrid away game in the Champions League, and the fans were singing it then.

“It puts a big smile on your face as an ex-player when a group of supporters who are still singing your song years and years after you’ve left the Club.”

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