- Winger Harvey Barnes was on the top table at LCFC Training Ground to speak to the media on Wednesday morning
- The Foxes departed for the Czech capital in the afternoon prior to Thursday’s UEFA Europa League clash with Slavia Prague
- City will contest the first leg of their Round of 32 tie at Sinobo Stadium (5:55pm GMT kick-off)
- Barnes discusses Europe, two-legged affairs and his personal form ahead of the game
The Foxes won Group G of the competition in December, and were pitted against Jindřich Trpišovský’s outfit in the Round of 32, with the first leg taking place at Sinobo Stadium before the return fixture a week later in Leicester.
Barnes made his senior bow for City in Europe in 2016, and after a number of loan spells across the Football League, he has become a vital member of the team, often being deployed on the left wing with devastating effect.
His goals tally in the Europa League this term stands at three strikes in six appearances, and he is one of many Foxes that are thrilled to be part of only the fifth European campaign the Club has contested.
“All the lads have loved it so far, it’s been a new challenge for a lot of us,” the winger told the media on Wednesday at LCFC Training Ground. “Obviously, I had a little taste of European football a few years ago, but not to the extent we have this year.
“It’s been a really good challenge, and one that we’ve enjoyed playing in and doing really well in so far.
Harvey Barnes has been in excellent form for Leicester City in 2020/21, netting 12 times for his boyhood club.
“Of course, now, it’s getting to the difficult stages, where it’s the knockouts, and as a team, we want to go as far as we can in this. Hopefully, with the form that we’ve been in, that will help us to achieve that.”
Barnes believes a two-legged affair will bring with it additional difficulties, with game management more important than ever given the away goals rule will be in place.
“Knowing how to deal with a game over two legs, it’s something that a lot of us aren’t used to,” the England international continued.
“A few lads would have experienced it of course, in the Champions League, but I don’t think I’ve played in a fixture where it’s over two legs. It’ll definitely be a new experience and it’ll be a different challenge that we’ll face over the two games.
“On the Europa League as a whole, we feel like it’s a massive competition. We know how important it is. I know the Club hasn’t gone on to win it at any point, so it’s something we’ve definitely got in our targets.
“For us, we just want to take each game as it comes, but of course, we’ve got the end goal of getting as far as we can in the competition.”
It think it’s been a mixture of when I’ve had the chances this year, I’ve been clinical and taken them, but also making sure I’m getting into those positions as many times as I can throughout the game.Harvey Barnes
Now on 12 goals across all competitions for the 2020/21 season, Barnes is currently enjoying his best campaign for the Foxes, and explained why he feels he has been so productive in front of goal.
“Even though last season I was happy with how I performed, this year I’ve been really happy stats-wise,” he added. I’ve sat down and realised it’s something you have to have in the game.
“You have to not just play well in games, but score goals and make sure you’re helping the team in that sense. It’s something that I identified at the beginning of the season, and looked at how I can improve those number. So far, this season, that’s gone really well.
“It’s something that’s really important for an attacker. If you’re not getting your numbers up there, you’re not doing yourself justice, and also the team. One of the main reasons we looked at that, and changed that, is the amount of times you get yourself into goalscoring opportunities, the more chances you get in the game and the more likely you are to score.
“It think it’s been a mixture of when I’ve had the chances this year, I’ve been clinical and taken them, but also making sure I’m getting into those positions as many times as I can throughout the game.”
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