Rodgers On Vardy's Recovery, Attacking Options & Squad Depth
- Leicester City face Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Wednesday (8:15pm kick-off)
- Manager Brendan Rodgers provided an update on Jamie Vardy's recuperation after a hernia operation
- Dennis Praet and Wes Morgan are the only other likely absentees for the trip to Merseyside
- Rodgers also reflects on his selection considerations and the depth of quality in Leicester's squad
Goals from Cengiz Ünder, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison sealed a 3-1 success over Brentford in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday as Rodgers made eight changes.
However, the Northern Irishman insists the same starting XI won't feature across the entirety of the rest of the campaign, with Leicester also in UEFA Europa League contention, as he pointed to the collective spirit of the Foxes' squad.
Initially providing an update on Vardy's fitness, after the 34-year-old underwent a minor operation on a hernia condition last week, Rodgers also discussed the depth of quality available to him.
"There’s a timeline on it," Rodgers said. "He’s a little sore as you’d expect. He’s in really good form and hopefully he’s a quick healer and he’ll be back available fairly soon.
"[There's] no other [issues] than the boys that have been out; Vards (Jamie Vardy), obviously, [Dennis] Praet and Wes Morgan. Everyone else is coming through really well.
"Christian Fuchs has been training. He's played a great part for us in this first part of the season. He's not been involved so much of late because of the other players returning.
I communicate with the guys that are on the outside so they know exactly where they are and they always know they're very close to playing. They've just got to be ready.Brendan Rodgers
"But he’s fit and training well and he always makes himself available if he's required. I've said it many times, (picking a starting XI) is the most difficult job, especially when you have top-class professionals and I'm just thankful, with all the injuries we've had, that they are back and available and getting game time.
"They all know that all of them are required. The same XI won't play in every single game between now and the end of the season. The players respect the spirit of the team.
"I communicate with the guys that are on the outside so they know exactly where they are and they always know they're very close to playing. They've just got to be ready.
"I'd much rather have it that way, rather than players being injured, but to have the quality we have makes me really happy."
In Vardy's short absence, Rodgers has no doubts that Leicester will retain a fearsome attacking threat, as was demonstrated in their performance at Brentford Community Stadium.
Goals: Brentford 1 Leicester City 3
All the goals from the Foxes' 3-1 success over Brentford in the FA Cup Fourth Round.
After Ayoze Pérez led the line for the Foxes on Sunday, the Foxes manager said it could be any of a number of players who start in the conventional forward position.
"It depends on the type of game we want to play," he added. "There’s a lot made of when Jamie doesn’t play and clearly, he’s a really talented striker, one of the best in this league.
"Our development as a team is around the collective. If you think we’ve scored over 50 goals this season over the course of the season so far, Jamie’s got 13 of those.
"Over forty of the goals have come from other people. Look at developments of some of those players, Barnesy (Harvey Barnes), Madders (James Maddison), Youri [Tielemans] and these guys chipping in.
"I know Ayo (Ayoze Pérez) will score goals. He hasn’t featured as much this season. He’s just been unfortunate and part of that is just the form of the team.
"He will play a really pivotal role for us in the season part of this season. Whether it’s him who plays, or Kelechi [Iheanacho], or someone else, the responsibility of goals is on the team."
Reflecting on that success over Brentford, Rodgers outlined his delight at the nature of their performance, specifically in the second period, as the likes of Çağlar Söyüncü and Ricardo Pereira made first starts after injury lay-offs.
Obviously, Cengo (Cengiz Ünder) got his second goal as well, so all in all, it was a good performance. We’re into the next round and we’ll continue with the good energy, hopefully, into our next game.Brendan Rodgers
"Collectively, the team was good," he explained. "I was really pleased to see Ricky back. Danny Ward hasn’t played a great deal, but when he’s played this season, he’s been excellent, so it was great to get him game time.
"It was Ricky’s first (Premier League) start in 10-odd months, so it was nice to get him 70-odd minutes. The centre-halves were as I expected them to be.
"Luke Thomas has been great for me this season. The midfield players were very good. And Ayo, even though he didn’t score, I thought he was very good in the game.
"His movement, the things I’ve been asking him to improve on, in terms of his physicality and intensity, you could see that in his game and he was very, very unfortunate not to score.
"Obviously, Cengo (Cengiz Ünder) got his second goal as well, so all in all, it was a good performance. We’re into the next round and we’ll continue with the good energy, hopefully, into our next game."
All times GMT.
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