Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers: We Had That Spirit & Mentality

Brendan Rodgers was encouraged by several aspects of Leicester City’s performance in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.
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- Leicester City held to a 2-2 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion
- Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes struck for the Foxes
- Brendan Rodgers gave his verdict on proceedings to LCFC TV
- The manager was frustrated with the manner of the goals conceded

A late equaliser from Seagulls substitute Evan Ferguson denied the Foxes a much-needed three points on home turf, after strikes from Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes edged the hosts ahead. Kaoru Mitoma had opened the scoring earlier in the contest.

For Rodgers, the only disappointment was his side’s defending in the closing stages, allowing Brighton to punish errors, as he referenced when speaking during his post-match interview at King Power Stadium.

“Performance-wise, the spirit and mentality of the team was really good,” he told LCFC TV. “I thought in the first half we were the better team, restricting them to very little. Brighton were coming here with a high level of confidence given their recent victories.

They were obviously going to come onto us and disappointingly for us, we should have done better with the ball. But it’s a constant thing that I talk about. We need to have more quality.

Brendan Rodgers LCFC TV

“But I thought we really nullified that. We’re disappointed with the first goal, though. We give the ball away cheaply and then they break away. The guy scores a wonderful goal - then we needed the reaction.

“Overall, in the game, we had done well. In the second half, we showed that fighting spirit to get back into the game and then go in front. It was then just a case of trying to see the game through.

“They were obviously going to come onto us and disappointingly for us, we should have done better with the ball. But it’s a constant thing that I talk about. We need to have more quality.

“Otherwise, if you keep giving good teams the ball, they punish you in the end and that’s what they did.”

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Leicester City
Leicester City

The Foxes celebrate Barnes' finish in front of the Blue Army.

Leicester were boosted by the reintroductions of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and James Maddison to the matchday squad after injury, able to name the former in the starting XI, while England international Maddison made an appearance from the bench.

Belgium international Dennis Praet may be set for another spell on the sidelines though, after he was forced off injured during the first half. Rodgers also provided an update on his condition.

“It’s also the level of players,” the 49-year-old continued. “We need to improve the squad and at some point that will help us. That’s something that will come in time. But while you’re looking for that, we’ll have players coming back, which will obviously help us in the coming weeks.

“We’ll keep working. As long as we have that spirit, that will always help in games. We said beforehand, the mentality of the game was important. If we went behind, we had the opportunity to show our spirit in the game. That was key and the boys did that fantastically well throughout the game.

He’s always a threat, Harvey. Maybe his final pass wasn’t so good today but he was in there, he read the flick on well and it was nice to get a goal from a corner.

Brendan Rodgers on Harvey Barnes LCFC TV

“Obviously, Kiernan has only trained a few days, so it was good for him to get 68 minutes or so. Getting James back in, you see the quality that he brings to the game. He hasn’t played for about 11 weeks, but he was excellent when he came in. It’s just great to have that level back in the team again.

“It looks a really bad swollen ankle (for Dennis Praet), so we’ll just have to assess that tomorrow.”

Academy graduate Barnes looked to have handed City a first league victory of 2023 via his 63rd-minute goal, but they were ultimately forced to settle for a point that leaves the Foxes 14th in the Premier League table.

“He’s always a threat, Harvey,” the Northern Irishman added. “Maybe his final pass wasn’t so good today but he was in there, he read the flick on well and it was nice to get a goal from a corner.

“You’re playing against a very good side who we’ve seen now over the last few years have been building their squad and how they are. They’ve had a fantastic season, but we felt by the end we should have won the game.

“There’s always disappointment if you concede late, but the players that we have available gave everything. They threw everything at the game and it was just unfortunate that we couldn’t hang on.

“Collectively, that was going to be important, with and without the ball, that we could do that. It’s something that you need to be able to do and probably too many times this season we’ve not worked together.

“But today, the plan was clear. You let their two centre-backs have the ball, lock their two midfield players and then force the pressure from there and the players did that really well.”

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