Brendan Rodgers

Leicester's 'Attitude & Application' Impresses Rodgers

All of Leicester City's focus is on ensuring the Foxes are in the best possible shape, physically and tactically, for the opening day of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, says manager Brendan Rodgers.
More on this story...

- Brendan Rodgers speaks to LCFC TV at Leicester City's training camp in Surrey
- The Foxes manager discusses the Club's pre-season training schedule so far this summer
- He looks ahead to Saturday's visit to Queens Park Rangers (3pm BST kick-off)
- Rodgers provides an update on how Leicester's new players are settling into the squad

The Foxes have been in pre-season training for the past three weeks – initially spending a fortnight at LCFC Training Ground before basing themselves in Surrey this past week – while also competing opening pre-season friendlies away at Burton Albion and Wycombe Wanderers.

Queens Park Rangers are next up for City at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Saturday, live on LCFC TV, before UEFA Europa League winners Villarreal visit King Power Stadium next Wednesday. Then, the following Saturday, it's the FA Community Shield, against Manchester City.

Speaking to LCFC TV in the south east on the eve of that clash with Mark Warburton's Hoops, Rodgers provided his verdict on pre-season so far, specifically the past week in Surrey.

"It's been first class," the Northern Irishman said. "I've been [here] a number of times with teams. It's a very private complex to come and do your work and it’s been great all week. I think it's just accumulating the training sessions and gaining that fitness. The players have come back in really good condition.

They're showing a great attitude to their work, very compliant, and they’re gaining fitness each day. You have that professional bonding on the pitch where you're trying to build relationships. The new players that are in have settled in very, very well, Ryan [Bertrand], Bouba [Soumaré] and Patson [Daka].

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

"But, of course, you're trying to get them, in terms of their football fitness, up to a good level. The biggest thing at this stage of the season is about attitude and application and the players have always been fantastic in my time here in both those attributes.

"They're showing a great attitude to their work, very compliant, and they’re gaining fitness each day. You have that professional bonding on the pitch where you're trying to build relationships. The new players that are in have settled in very, very well, Ryan [Bertrand], Bouba [Soumaré] and Patson [Daka].

"On the field, they've bonded really well. Off the pitch, likewise. You're with each other virtually all through the day, so it gives them the chance of an evening. Instead of going home, they get the chance to sit and chat and talk with each other and that always bodes well, that social bonding also."

After facing Burton and Wycombe, Rodgers is looking for the Foxes to step things up in their remaining summer friendlies, with more minutes for some players, and a greater emphasis on tactical work during the games.

First Team

Ball Work & Speed Drills For City In Surrey

Leicester City's players were out in blustery conditions in the south east on Friday as they prepared to face Queens Park Rangers in a friendly.

"I think for the first two games, they’re primarily about the players getting the pitch geography again," he explained. "It’s funny when they've been away for a period of time and you come back… it's just getting the feeling on the pitch again. Really, that's been [the case in] the first two games that we've had.

"I think, from now on in, we start to focus a little bit more and certainly combine a little bit more of the tactical idea, as well as the physical. All the players have had minutes and, as I said, we start to now begin to up the minutes of the players leading into our first game against Wolves.

"QPR are a very good side. Mark [Warburton], when I was manager at Watford, Mark was the academy director at Watford, so I know him well. He always organises his teams very well. He likes them to play good football. I've seen their last result against Manchester United.

"It shows that they’ve done well in pre-season and they play a system which is good at this part of the season. They’ve been playing 3-4-1-2, so from a tactical perspective as well as a physical perspective, it's a good examination for us at this period of the season.

The minute you put a shirt on against another team, that's something that really stimulates the players. It just makes it that bit competitive.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

"[They’re a] really good Championship team, a very famous club with a great history, so we’re really looking forward to playing the game."

The injection of competitiveness which friendlies offer to the summer training regime is a useful tool for Rodgers and his backroom team. The manager who ended the Club's 137-year wait for an FA Cup triumph has been pleased with the winning mentality which his players have adopted.

He is also confident that City's new recruits will add to that approach – but is keen to allow Soumaré and Daka, in particular, to settle into a new country.

"The minute you put a shirt on against another team, that's something that really stimulates the players," he continued. "It just makes it that bit competitive. With our players, I like to think we've created a really competitive environment here. Our day to day competition training is at a really, really high level.

"However, the minute they put on a shirt and then they play an opposing team with the different shirt on, that of course, brings them together in order to want to win, so that's always important.

"I think the likes of all the players coming in; you have Ryan, who is Premier League made. He's had a wonderful career up until this stage and he's now really excited about being here. But he knows the Premier League inside out. He was a Champions League winner, he’s an international player.

"He understands everything about the Premier League. Patson and Bouba coming in… this is going to be a year of adaption for them. They're going to be important players for us, of course, and make a really good contribution, but I'm relaxed on their development this coming season.

"When you come from anywhere outside of the Premier League, it's always going to be a difficult period to come in and adapt because the speed of the game, the intensity of the game, the transition in the game… but both players have come in off the back of winning mentalities.

"They're both young, they're both hungry and what I've seen in the games, they're only going to get better and better. Again, they’re physically getting up to speed, but I’ve been delighted with all threes’ contributions since they’ve come in."

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