Brendan Rodgers

Our Concentration Cost Us, Says Rodgers

Leicester City lacked focus at critical moments as they were beaten 4-2 by Newcastle United at King Power Stadium on Friday, says Brendan Rodgers.
More on this story...

- Brendan Rodgers spoke to LCFC TV following Friday's home defeat by Newcastle United 
- The Foxes remain third in the Premier League with three matches of the 2020/21 season to play
- Rodgers isolated City's lack of concentration as one aspect which was disappointing 
- The manager also provided an update on the fitness of Jonny Evans, who withdrew before kick-off

Joseph Willock and Paul Dummett gave the Magpies a two-goal lead at the interval before a brace from Callum Wilson stretched the visitors' advantage, although Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho halved it again late on. That late rally, though, was not enough for City to avoid defeat on Filbert Way.

Reflecting afterwards, Rodgers told LCFC TV: "It’s a very disappointing result. A key item for me was our concentration from a defensive perspective. We conceded poor goals. We made errors for the goals. This is a stage of the season where you have to be really concentrated in the game.

"For that, we got punished. They’ve got top players who can hurt you. That was the biggest disappointment. We kept going until the very end. I was proud of the team in terms of the fact that we didn’t sink. Sometimes at 3-0 or 4-0 down, the team can stop running, stop working, but they showed their spirit.

"We scored two goals and we could have had five goals ourselves tonight. The ‘keeper made a few great saves, but you’re never going to win a game if you defend like that and make those mistakes and, unfortunately, that punished us."

[Jonny Evans is] on crutches at the moment, so that was a massive blow for us. I’ve always said he’s the brain in our defence. Whether we play a back four or a back three, he’s the one that keeps the line up.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

Despite the frustrating nature of Leicester's reverse on Friday, Rodgers was keen to highlight their high performance levels throughout 2020/21 and their strong standing in the Premier League table with just three matches still to play this season.

"Everything’s still in our hands," the Northern Irishman added. "We’ve made it difficult for ourselves with the last two results. It’s disappointing, especially tonight, but we have to go away now and recover for a massive game on Tuesday. It’s all still in our hands.

"We’ve been absolutely brilliant up until this point and we’re still in with a great opportunity to achieve everything we want to. We have to learn from tonight and realise if you make mistakes, you’re not going to win games and, if you don’t win games, you’re not going to arrive where you want to arrive.

"That’s what we need to reflect on and take into our next performances."

Jonny Evans, meanwhile, was named in City's starting XI on Friday but was forced to withdraw before kick-off after a heel problem returned during the warm-up at King Power Stadium. Rodgers admitted Leicester missed his leadership in defence and provided an update on his condition at full-time.

"We were managing a problem with his heel for the last two weeks," the 48-year-old explained. "It’s something which he’s been having injections for and got through okay. Just before he finished the warm-up, he was in a lot of discomfort when he came in just before kick-off.

"He tried to stretch it out in the changing room, but he was suffering. We’ll just have to wait and see. He’s on crutches at the moment, so that was a massive blow for us. I’ve always said he’s the brain in our defence. Whether we play a back four or a back three, he’s the one that keeps the line up.

"He pulls the other two guys together. They’re young players. I thought Wesley Fofana was outstanding this evening. He got done for a corner, but apart from that, he was aggressive, his concentration was very good. He was excellent, but Jonny’s a huge miss when he’s not playing for us."

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