Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers: You Can't Question The Players' Spirit

Brendan Rodgers credited Leicester City's spirit to follow a 2-2 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion with a 4-2 win on penalties to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
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- Leicester City are into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after a penalty shootout win on Wednesday
- The Foxes drew 2-2 with Brighton & Hove Albion, before emerging as 4-2 victors on penalties
- Manager Brendan Rodgers credited the mentality and spirit of his squad at full-time
- There was praise for several players from the Northern Irishman after another successful outing

The Foxes twice led on Filbert Way through Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman, but were twice pegged by by efforts from Adam Webster and Enock Mwepu, sending the tie to a shootout. With City converting all their spot-kicks, Neal Maupay hit the bar, before Danny Ward saved from Mwepu.

Following on from three successive victories in all competitions, it means the feel-good factor continues for Leicester. Speaking afterwards, Rodgers outlined the pride he felt watching City battled through too come out on top against a Seagulls side who have impressed many this season.

"It was a good victory for us," the Northern Irishman told LCFC TV at full-time. "Of course, whenever you’ve got lots of players coming in who haven’t had a lot of game time, I thought we looked a little tired in the second half.

"But what you can’t question is the players’ mentality and their spirit. They showed great qualities, especially when they got the equaliser and we were able to score straight away. I’m delighted for the guys. They had to work very, very hard for it.

"Brighton are a good side, you can see they pass the ball well, but we always looked a threat. Your spirit can never be broken. There are some teams that can get pegged back and just don’t have that belief.

Given everything, we had five Academy boys within the game, so that’s great to see them getting that experience. That’s a great education for them.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

"We’ve always said our mindset is: ‘Listen, you’re never going to have it all your own way’. If you do go behind, or you do go level in the game, you keep pushing right to the very end."

Rodgers was also pleased by the way City instantly restored their lead just before half-time as Lookman's poked finish followed Webster's initial leveller for Brighton. He also discussed the performances of goalscorers Barnes and Lookman, who took full advantage of returns to the starting XI.

"It was very pleasing," he continued. "We took the first goal very well, pressed the game well, and Barnesy gets in and finishes. [For the second goal], from the kick-off, we press the game well again and then Ade gets in and finishes really well. I’m delighted for both those boys.

"They’ve just been unfortunate they haven’t been able to play. Other guys have been doing really well. They’ve known they’ll be able to come in and effect the game."

Ward's penalty save ultimately settled the tie, when combined with a 100 per cent record from James Maddison, Barnes, Patson Daka and Ricardo Pereira. The Foxes manager also revealed that spot-kicks were practised during the week at LCFC Training Ground.

"They were much better than the Burton ones!" Rodgers explained, remembering a pre-season penalty shootout. "It’s a pressure moment, of course, but [we scored] all four penalties and obviously Wardy makes a save as well, which is great.

First Team

Ward: You Have To Be Confident In Shootouts

Danny Ward speaks to LCFC TV after saving a penalty in Leicester City's 4-2 shootout success against Brighton & Hove Albion.

"Yesterday, [we worked on penalties] as part of our preparation. Everyone who was going to be involved took a penalty."

Hamza Choudhury, on the other hand, was handed the captain's armband for the tie and, alongside another four representatives, it was a positive night for the Club's Academy.

"Given everything, we had five Academy boys within the game, so that’s great to see them getting that experience," Rodgers said. "That’s a great education for them. It’s good, players are getting game time and minutes in their legs, which is also great for the spirit.

"We want to compete in every competition. That’s obviously difficult when we’re in so many. We always set out a side to win. [Choudhury’s] been here since he was a young boy, so it’s great for him to put the armband on and walk out in front of his own people in his own city.

"It was a really nice moment for him. We’re back in tomorrow to get ready for [Arsenal on Saturday]. We’ll have players fresh as well, so it’s good."

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