Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers: We’ve Taken On The Challenge

At the climax of an intense week in Évian-les-Bains, manager Brendan Rodgers underlined Leicester City’s growth in maturity and their willingness to push themselves during their third week of pre-season.
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After touching down in Geneva on Monday, City hit the training pitches on Tuesday and Wednesday with double sessions, before completing their training regime on Friday and then flying to Belgium for a pre-season friendly against OH Leuven.

Now into his third full season as City manager, Rodgers spoke of the hunger of his players portrayed in the French Alps, and how a contingent of younger Foxes complemented the group.

“It’s been really, really good,” Rodgers told LCFC TV. “This is a stunning venue, but there’s no distractions here. It allows you to get your work done. It’s great for the players that joined us as well on Monday, to travel here, so we’ve had a fantastic week’s training, so I’m really pleased.

“The younger players, it’s been nice to have them with us for the week. Lots of the senior players have been with us for a few years, but it has been nice to see the growth of them.

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Brendan Rodgers

The manager sat down with LCFC TV at the conclusion of Leicester City's pre-season training camp.

“When I think back, it was three years ago in my first pre-season with the team, and now looking at it, three years later, I can certainly see the development in the team and their maturity. It’s been a good week for everything.

“We had a few really nice days before we left here. Pre-season is the time to get your work in, it’s tough, it’s hard in the conditions, but you’ve got to really take on that challenge and push your way through it. We’ve a fantastic Sports Science team here that really look after the players and that side of it. Lots of double sessions, lots of work, but lots of quality work.

“This is the point of pre-season where you build up that base. We’ve got the players back early, we’re having a really strong six weeks, and it has been tough, but that’s where you’re building that foundation for your season. By the time the players come out of pre-season, they’re going to be really strong and fit, and ready to hopefully have a really good season.”

On Thursday, away from the training pitches, City embarked on an incredible journey from Évian to the Alps, crossing a glacier and experiencing Mont Blanc – memories that Rodgers knows will stick with each member of the squad.

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Leicester City

The entire travelling Leicester City squad experienced a glacier walk to nearby Mont Blanc on Thursday.

“I’m always for giving players an adventure outside of football,” said the manager. “Coming to here and having the opportunity to go to Mont Blanc, which is the highest western point in Europe, and just the process of getting to the base of Mont Blanc was fantastic.

“Like I say, some of our players have never experienced snow before, so to be able to have an adventure on the glacier was incredible, some of the views – it was also a tough day as well, but an experience that the players will take for the rest of their lives.

“A really enjoyable day, a long day, but experiences they’ll have with them forever.”

With OH Leuven now the focus in Leicester’s next pre-season friendly, Rodgers delivered an update on his squad after the Évian camp. Wilfred Ndidi is expected to miss out, while Hamza Choudhury has now returned to training.

He said: “We’ve got one or two knocks. Wilf’s twisted his ankle in training a few days ago. We don’t think it’s too serious. It’s a high ankle sprain, so he had a scan on it and it’ll hopefully be okay. We’ve just looked after him really, he won’t be involved at the weekend, but of course, hopefully next week at some point he’ll be back training.

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James Maddison & Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers delivers a tactical instruction to James Maddison during a session.

“Hamza’s been out for a few days but he trained this morning also, so that’s really good news.”

Saturday marks OH Leuven’s five-year anniversary under the ownership of King Power International, and therefore Rodgers is thrilled to be able to take his squad to Belgium to compete against Leicester’s sister club.

“I’m really pleased now, having got a lot of our players back and seeing the level of fitness and actually seeing them perform in the training and exercises that they’ve managed so far,” Rodgers said. “They’ve been really good.

“We’re going to play OHL and I’m really looking forward to going to Leuven. I haven’t been across there myself yet, but we’ve had the staff over to Seagrave and it’s been great to meet them. We’ve had lots of conversations, so I’m really looking forward to going and playing the team, and it’ll be a test for us because they’re three weeks ahead of us.

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Brendan Rodgers

The Northern Irishman has been preparing his side for their second pre-season friendly, on Saturday away to OH Leuven.

“They’re getting ready, I think it’s their final preparation game before the first game of the season, so fitness wise, they’ll be at a more advanced stage than ourselves, but that means it’s going to be a really good test.

“We’ll get the players through up to 60 minutes. We’ll be using most of the players that are out here that are fit, so yes, it’s another game towards the end point, which is the first game of the season. That’s what we’re preparing for.

“It feels fitting that we were out here and we wanted a game. Whenever it was expressed to us, the poignancy of it, then it felt right to fly over there and play the game. We’re looking forward to being there.

“We’re looking forward to meeting some more of the staff there and their supporters. Ultimately, we’re there for our pre-season preparation and hopefully we’ll enjoy the whole occasion.”

Supporters are able to watch a live stream City's clash with OH Leuven on LCFC.com and YouTube from 12pm BST.

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