Leicester City

‘A Really Professional Performance’ - Hammond’s Millwall Verdict

Dean Hammond says Leicester City were good value for their Carabao Cup success against Millwall, which saw them safely through to the fourth round of the competition.
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- Leicester City progressed into the Carabao Cup Fourth Round on Wednesday evening
- The Foxes beat Millwall 2-0 at The Den with goals from Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho
- Dean Hammond delivered his post-match thoughts as part of Wednesday evening’s Matchday Live coverage 
- The ex-City midfielder praised the contributions of Iheanacho and Jonny Evans in particular

Speaking from The Den following City’s 2-0 victory over the Sky Bet Championship side, the former Foxes midfielder was full of praise for the manner in which Leicester managed to secure success in the capital.

Goals from Ademola Lookman – his first for the Club since signing on loan from RB Leipzig – and Kelechi Iheanacho set up a meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion at King Power Stadium, to be played next month.

“It was a really professional performance in the second half,” Hammond commented on LCFC TV’s Matchday Live. “They just showed their extra quality.

“And it was just down to a little bit more urgency and energy to win the ball back, to press Millwall and then to play forward with a little bit more speed and a little bit more quickness in their play.

First Team

City Score Twice In Millwall Win

Watch both goals from Leicester City's 2-0 Carabao Cup Third Round victory over Millwall.

“That made a huge difference and I think it was the runs in behind from [Marc] Albrighton and [Ademola] Lookman in the second half. [Kelechi] Iheanacho wasn’t coming as short as much and was going in behind and it just made the pitch bigger.

“It allowed the midfield players to get on the ball a little bit more, it allowed a little bit more time and they could be a little bit more proactive. It was a good 2-0 win.”

Iheanacho’s stunning second goal of the season, following his winner in the FA Community Shield triumph at Wembley Stadium in August, sealed Leicester’s place in the next round of the competition.

And he also had a hand in the opener - it was the Nigerian international’s initial effort that could only be parried into Lookman’s path by Lions shot-stopper George Long, to break the deadlock.

Hammond continued: “He was a threat all night, looking to go in behind, even in the first half when he nearly got in from that Jonny Evans pass. He looks really fit, really strong.

He was just organising everyone and that just helps. He’s got a presence because he’s very calm on the ball as well. He allows you to build up from the back.

Dean Hammond on Jonny Evans LCFC TV

“The goal for Lookman, it’s Iheanacho with a good strike and then when he tried to get it back onto his left foot and took an extra touch, it didn’t waver his confidence when he gets that chance.

“It’s a brilliant ball from [Wilfred] Ndidi, he’d been looking for that all night and then there was just no hesitation, very positive and that pure power and belief in that finish. It was very good from him.

“There was a great reaction from the fans, obviously celebrating the goal and then the reaction towards Iheanacho at the end, I think there’s a real appreciation for him now.

“I think there’s real value that the fans see from him and what a quality player he is. It was great for him to share that moment and to score in the goal that they’re behind.

“I think he could play in the no.10 role. He’s given Brendan Rodgers a headache because of that performance, and I think he’s a class act. He looks fit and hungry and like he wants to play.”

First Team

Iheanacho: A Team Effort

Kelechi Iheanacho speaks to LCFC TV after scoring Leicester City's second goal in a 2-0 win over Millwall in the Carabao Cup.

At the other end of the pitch, centre-back Jonny Evans also made a significant impact to maintaining a clean sheet in South London – City’s first shut-out since victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on the opening day of the Premier League season.

The 33-year-old’s calming presence within the backline is a quality Hammond believes may have been missed during the Northern Ireland international’s time on the sidelines through injury.

“It makes a huge difference,” he explained. “He was very demanding in terms of his organisation. He does bring that calmness as well. There were moments when [Jannik] Vestergaard came on and he was just encouraging him: ‘You go and attack the ball and I’ll cover you’.

"He was just organising everyone and that just helps. He’s got a presence because he’s very calm on the ball as well. He allows you to build up from the back. There were a couple in the second half, with both feet, diagonal balls over the top to Lookman or Albrighton.

“It makes a huge difference and I’m sure Brendan [Rodgers] will be very happy to have him back within the group and back in the team and in contention for Saturday. I was really impressed with him tonight.”

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