The Foxes, FA Cup winners in 2021, enter the competition in the third round, with a tie away to Sky Bet League 2 outfit Gillingham coming up at Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon (12:30pm kick-off).
Ahead of travelling down to Kent, City’s manager fielded questions from the media during his pre-match press conference, inside the King Power Centre at LCFC Training Ground, outlining his thoughts on the upcoming fixture…
In training ahead of the cup clash.
Mindful that City must contest two cup games in three days, with their Carabao Cup Quarter-Final away to Newcastle United coming up next Tuesday evening, Rodgers says there is a clear mindset in how they will approach both away games.
The Northern Irishman began: “In both competitions, we want to go as far as we can. We want to win every cup that we’re in. We arrive into the game against a team that haven’t done as well as they would have liked in the league.
“But in the cup, they’ve made it very difficult for Premier League teams. When you go away, you have to be aggressive and professional in your job and that’s what we aim to do. We’ve got one of the weekend and one on Tuesday night and we want to aim to do as well as we can.
“It’s the ambition of everybody here and it’s getting more difficult at this level and in this league. The financial resources that are available, not just in the top six clubs, but beyond that clubs have injections of finance and money.
“It gets tougher, but that doesn’t soften our ambition to be the best that we can and to be super competitive and that’s what we’ll look to be.”
A deep connection with the competition
Saluting the Blue Army after the historic FA Cup Final.
Leicester City have experienced many big occasions in recent years, not least the 2021 showpiece at Wembley Stadium, which brought the oldest trophy back to King Power Stadium for the first time in the Club’s history. The constant will to enjoy more of those days is not lost on Rodgers.
The 49-year-old explained: “We’ve had that magical season and day but we want to keep writing new history here at the Football Club and have more magical moments. The cup competitions of course give us an opportunity to do that. We go there at the beginning of our journey and hopefully we can get through and keep progressing.
“The feeling was amazing on the day and when you do anything for the first time it feels great. And at that time it was. It started the journey of winning here and the feeling of winning for many of the players.
“To win a cup competition, that’s big in our mindset coming into each season, so this and the cup we’re in the quarter-final of on Tuesday night, these are important games for us and we want to go and show that accordingly.”
Impact of injuries
Rodgers took questions from the written and broadcast media during Friday's pre-match press conference.
Currently without seven first-team players due to injury, including some long-term absentees, the busy schedule is pushing the squad to its limit, though that can give opportunities for other players to shine in these knockout games.
We’ll always pick a team that we believe will win the game,” the ex-Liverpool manager added: “It will be strong and there to win. We have to when we’ve got a game on Tuesday and one on Saturday. We’ll look at doing that.
“It’s an opportunity, it builds confidence and it keeps playing games, you always want to do that. That’s why you play, that’s why you work. It’s unfortunate we’ve picked up the injuries, but we have to continue working and fighting. If you want to do well, you have to go deep in them and for that you have to win. It’s a great opportunity, but a challenge.
“The beginning of the season was challenging when we weren’t getting results. We’ve shown that solidarity within the squad. Two of our three performances merited results. You always have to have that optimism. You have to constantly work to improve, and the players have the same feeling as well.
“The one thing you need to have in your squad is a spirit and these players have a good spirit within each other and we’ll continue to work to look to try and overcome the challenges, whether its form or injuries and keep working and fighting.”
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