Youri Tielemans

Tielemans: A Tough Game, But It's In Our Hands

Youri Tielemans says there must be full focus on Thursday's meeting with Slavia Prague if Leicester City are to reach the next stage of the UEFA Europa League.
More on this story...

- Leicester City will go head-to-head with Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie
- Youri Tielemans speaks to the media via Zoom in Wednesday's virtual pre-match press conference
- The midfielder looks ahead to the clash at Leicester City Stadium, which kicks off at 8pm on Thursday
- He believes Leicester's Czech opponents will provide another test when they arrive on Filbert Way

Although an away goal proved elusive in Prague last week, the challenge of finding a way through at Leicester City Stadium is one that City's No.8 is confident of overcoming, in order to continue their European adventure.

Reflecting on the first leg result, a 0-0 draw at Sinobo Stadium, Tielemans knows there is still work to be done in order to advance into the last 16, but is feeling positive heading into Leicester's second encounter with the Czech First League champions.

"After the game, we knew that a goal would have been even better but when you take a clean sheet away from home, I think it’s okay," Tielemans told the media, speaking on Zoom during Wednesday's pre-match press conference from the King Power Centre at LCFC Training Ground.

First Team

Slavia Prague 0 Leicester City 0

Extended highlights from the Foxes' goalless draw with Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg.

"I think the position we are in today is good because we've been away and didn’t concede. Even though we didn't score, we’ve got everything in our hands tomorrow (Thursday) to win the game and hopefully we’ll do that.

"My experience from before is that we can have a good result tomorrow if we play at our best, because it’s going to be a tough game against a good team. We have seen there that they can play good football but they are very physical as well, so it's going to be a good test for us."

The youngest Belgian to appear in the UEFA Champions League while playing for Anderlecht in 2013, Tielemans also featured in the competition for AS Monaco and believes he can use those European experiences to the team's advantage, as Leicester look to progress into the Europa League Round of 16 for the first time.

The hectic schedule of this campaign, meanwhile, means there is little time to rest and recover, as the Foxes compete on three fronts, both domestically and in Europe. 

"I have played a lot of European games and been away with the national team as well from an early age," the 23-year-old continued. "I think it helps me a lot to improve my game and to discover a lot of new tactics, new styles of play and I try to help the guys as well who have maybe less experience than that.

First Team

City Finalise Slavia Prague Preparations

Leicester City trained at LCFC Training Ground on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League clash with Slavia Prague.

"In every competition that we play in, when you start, you always want to go to the end of it, so that's the main goal, but we know there are a lot of good teams in this competition. It's going to be very tough until the end, but for this game, we play at home and hopefully we can win it and then we'll see about the other ones.

"We knew it was going to be like this, especially this season, it's very packed and the games are coming very fast. We try and manage it between the games and be ready for every game.

"You can feel that fatigue but once the game is on, you just forget about everything and you are ready and focused for the game, so that's the main thing."

Since joining City, initially on loan in January 2019, the Belgian international has impressed, particularly during 2020/21, making 40 appearances for club and country, scoring eight goals.

He also spoke about his own personal development under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, praising his manager and coaching staff for their work on the training pitch to improve his all-round game while adapt to a new league.

This is a club where you have the best environment that you could have, especially with this new training ground. The people around you, they just want the best from you and it's just brilliant to be here.

Youri Tielemans

Tielemans added: "He helped me a lot in my improvement, in my development as a player and as a man as well. Under him, he’s always trying to get the best out of me and he’s improved my physical game to play in the Premier League, the intensity of my game.

"I play a lot quicker now and that's helped me a lot. Every day, he just he tries to push me as hard as he can and that’s what you want from a manager.

"It's day-to-day work, especially when I came here, the staff and the manager tried to work on that with me, to try and improve my intensity, because that's what you need in the Premier League to compete.

"You have to try to be mentally and physically ready every game to go again because it's a very demanding league. And then when you have midweeks in Europe as well, it's very tough and very hard, but the staff have been brilliant with me.

"This is a club where you have the best environment that you could have, especially with this new training ground. The people around you, they just want the best from you and it's just brilliant to be here and I really like it here, so we'll see what's coming in the future, but I think the environment is just perfect."

All times GMT.

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