Wilfred Ndidi

Ndidi: Europe Creates A Different Feeling For Us

Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi says the atmosphere generated on European nights is unmatched as the Foxes prepare to meet Randers FC for the first time on Thursday evening (8pm kick-off).
More on this story...

- Leicester City face Randers FC in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday night
- The knockout round play-off first leg takes place at Leicester City Stadium (8pm kick-off)
- Wilfred Ndidi says a positive result against the Danes would breed confidence in the camp
- The Nigeria midfielder could reach an appearance landmark for the Foxes this week

The first leg of City’s UEFA Europa Conference League debut takes place on Filbert Way, as Brendan Rodgers’ side look to navigate their way through the knockout round play-off.

Ndidi, who is in line to make his 200th appearance for the Club should he be selected to face the Danish outfit, spoke to the media ahead of the game, during Wednesday afternoon’s pre-match press conference held in the King Power Centre at LCFC Training Ground.

Though there was natural disappointment to miss out on a place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League, the midfielder believes this newly-formed competition presents another chance for City to compete for a continental trophy.  

Success in the two-legged tie could also help to develop some momentum for the remainder of the Premier League season, after some frustrating recent results since the turn of the year.

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Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi

The Foxes remain unbeaten in European home games this season.

He commented: “This is another great opportunity for us to be at our best, to try to get as many wins as we can and to come out with something from the season. It’s also good for the confidence looking forward. The season is still on.

“Anything can happen. We look to do our best - playing our football, enjoying the game and winning games. It’s not the way the team is going now, but I think we are actually getting where we want to be slow and steady.

“The Club is bigger than every player and, as players, we know what we want for the Club. It’s just that concentration of where we are now to look forward to those achievements. You want to have them as a team and as a player also. I think it’s just a wake-up call for us to concentrate more on our game.

“For me [in Europe], it’s the exposure, it’s the atmosphere and also the feeling. I’ve been playing in Europe and it’s really good because, for every player, you want to play in Europe. It’s a great plus for your career and I think it’s very good for us as players.”

It might be a great opportunity for us as a team and we look forward to these games and just look to take it as it comes. I expect it to be a really tough game because every team playing is worthy of winning the competition.

Wilfred Ndidi

Randers are making their first appearance in the knockout stages of a continental competition and, due to the winter break in the Danish Superliga, have not played a league match since the end of November, instead taking part in a series of friendlies to prepare for the resumption of their European journey.

Leicester will, therefore, head into the encounter on Filbert Way as favourites, but Ndidi says the Foxes will not be taking their opposition lightly as they look to make home advantage count and put down a marker in the first leg.

“When the game starts, it doesn’t matter how long you have played,” the 25-year-old continued. “In football, it’s just about their ability and their love for the game to go for it. It’s not how far you’ve actually trained. People are just physically and mentality ready.

“It might be a great opportunity for us as a team and we look forward to these games and just look to take it as it comes. I expect it to be a really tough game because every team playing is worthy of winning the competition.

“Seeing videos about the team, they are a really good side and I think we are ready for it. They are very compact, they work together as a team. For us, we have ways to see how we can approach the game.”

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Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi

The 25-year-old has featured in four European matches for the Foxes this term, scoring once.

The Nigeria international has developed a bond with Kelechi Iheanacho, playing alongside the forward for both club and country, while he also discussed his partnership with Youri Tielemans as the lynchpins in Leicester’s midfield.

Ndidi added: “The relationship between me and Kel is very great. It’s amazing because people just thought we were team-mates, playing for Leicester and playing for the national team.

“But I’ve known Kelechi since we were in the academy, very young, so it’s not just new. We’ve been very close since we were in [Nigeria] Under-17s together. It’s been amazing having him around. I’m enjoying every moment.

“Youri is a great player. He’s a player I love playing with in the middle, because of his technique, we both complement each other. I’m really happy because he is really doing well. We try as much as possible to work with each other and protect the team, so it’s been really good.”

All times GMT.

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