Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers Applauds City’s Performance Levels

Manager Brendan Rodgers says Leicester City showed spirit to absorb Stoke City’s early pressure before going on to dominate in their 4-0 Emirates FA Cup Third Round victory at bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
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- Leicester City played at a high level during their 4-0 win over Stoke City, says manager Brendan Rodgers
- The Foxes advanced to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to goals from James Justin, Marc Albrighton, Ayoze Pérez and Harvey Barnes
- Rodgers credited full-backs Justin and Timothy Castagne for their roles in the triumph
- The Northern Irishman also provided an update on Dennis Praet after the midfielder was forced off late on

Both sides started well in Staffordshire, but it was City who eventually took the lead on 38 minutes when James Justin cut in from the left wing and curled into the top corner for his second goal of the season.

The Foxes were clinical after the interval, doubling their lead via Marc Albrighton’s neat finish before Ayoze Pérez and Harvey Barnes were both on target in the space of just three minutes as the visiting side booked their spot in the fourth round.

“I thought we were very good,” Rodgers reflected to LCFC TV at full-time. “You see Stoke’s results, Michael’s [O’Neill] got them very well organised, they don’t concede many goals. So, I thought our game today was at a really good level.

“We had to stay strong that first 15 minutes because they started well. We stayed together, showed a really good spirit and then once we got that first goal, that really opened up the game for us. It was a great goal by JJ [James Justin] and then we performed very well.”

There was high praise for Justin and fellow full-back Timothy Castagne from Rodgers, who were defensively sound and provided an attacking impetus to help City to a resounding victory over the Potters.

“Just looking at both full-backs in terms of their strength, I think what we’ve done with JJ on a number of occasions is he’s played from the left and the right,” the Leicester manager explained.

“Most recently, in some of the big games, I’ve played him off the right to do a specific job on Son [Heung-min], [Marcus] Rashford and these types of players that play in that little role that you’ve got to be a good defender to play in.

I just switched them over, because JJ’s (James Justin) comfortable on the left, but I think we get more running ability out of Tim [Castagne] on the right-hand side and I thought both full-backs were outstanding.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

“But, I just felt that when Tim [Castagne] plays on the other side, we’ve got good penetration from Harvey [Barnes] on that side but we needed someone maybe to run in below, more beyond the line, and then we’ve got good penetration from both sides.

“I just switched them over, because JJ’s comfortable on the left, but I think we get more running ability out of Tim on the right-hand side and I thought both full-backs were outstanding.”

Finally, Rodgers provided an update on the fitness of midfielder Dennis Praet, who was forced off late on after sustaining an injury in the triumph.

When asked whether Praet picked up a hamstring strain, Rodgers said: “It looks that way, yes. He’s obviously getting strapped up inside.

“It’s unfortunate because we wanted to give him 90 minutes today, and unfortunately towards the end it looks like he’s done that.”

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