Brendan Rodgers

We'll Learn From This, Says Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers says Leicester City must learn from Thursday's UEFA Europa League defeat by Slavia Prague and look to continue their generally excellent form in the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup.
More on this story...

- Leicester City exited the UEFA Europa League at the Round of 32 stage on Thursday
- Lukáš Provod and Abdallah Sima struck for Slavia Prague in a 2-0 success for the Czech outfit
- Manager Brendan Rodgers admitted 'the best team won' over 180 minutes of football
- The 48-year-old also stressed the importance of learning from the disappointment

A first-leg stalemate was followed by another goalless 45 minutes on Filbert Way on Thursday, before second-half goals from Lukáš Provod and Abdallah Sima sent the Czech outfit into the Round of 16.

Rodgers was frustrated by a lack of aggression in City's defending and pointed to the greater quality on show from the visitors, but also stressed the importance of recovering quickly after the setback.

"I think the best team won over the course of the evening," the Northern Irishman told LCFC TV.

"If you assess the two legs, we didn’t create enough opportunities and then we didn’t defend well enough, with enough intensity in the games.

"I felt that they defended with more aggression than us and they showed more quality when it was required to score the goals, so unfortunately, we lose the game and go out.

I think, with this squad, I’m very fortunate, they’re so, so honest. It’s a very honest team. What we’ve always done is respond, so we need to recover now.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

"We started the game well, got into some good areas, but we lacked that precision with our pass or that bit of quality when we arrived in.

"We’ve gone to sleep just after half-time and conceded but still, even at 1-0, I fancy us with the players we could bring in to get back into the game, but we never did.

"Over the course of the two legs, we didn’t quite create enough opportunities."

The experience of contesting European ties within an already condensed domestic schedule has been a challenge which Leicester have embraced in 2020/21 and Rodgers hopes the Club can achieve qualification again in future.

"It’s been great for us, it’s what you want," the 48-year-old added. "You want to be playing lots of games, so we just need to learn from it and, hopefully next year, be in Europe again and be better.

"I think, with this squad, I’m very fortunate, they’re so, so honest. It’s a very honest team. What we’ve always done is respond, so we need to recover now. 

"It’s a short turnaround, a couple of days, and then we’ll get ready to go again at the weekend (vs. Arsenal), which is a big game for us."

The Foxes manager also addressed the team selection on Thursday, citing his side's responsibilities on three fronts, before highlighting the importance of maintaining performance levels domestically.

Leicester are third in the Premier League and face Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday 21 March (5pm GMT kick-off).

"They (Slavia Prague) had more intensity in their game," Rodgers continued. "We, obviously, have a squad that’s depleted, so a lot of the same players are having to go again.

Now we’re all in on the final two competitions that we’re in.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

"We tried to give some players a rest and make changes, but I’ll take responsibility for that. I picked the team to win the game and it just didn’t quite happen for us.

"It’s been a really good run. We won the group and we qualified, initially for Europe, which was important for us. We’re a very young squad that’s evolving all the time.

"We’ll learn from this, here, but it also shows you that, at this level, you have to be intense and we weren’t as intense as we’d like to be, so we’ll learn from it. 

"Now we’re all in on the final two competitions that we’re in."

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