Leicester City sweating on Evans fitness after injury setback

By Sports Desk September 16, 2021

Jonny Evans may have suffered a fresh injury setback with Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers revealing he will need to be assessed.

Evans returned to the Leicester starting line-up for Thursday's 2-2 draw with Napoli in the Europa League after a foot injury but was replaced at half-time.

The Northern Irishman had returned competitively for the first time since the FA Cup victory in May as a substitute in Saturday's 1-0 home loss to Manchester City.

Rodgers would not elaborate on the specifics of the injury but admitted Evans was in doubt for Sunday's Premier League clash with Brighton.

"It probably will do," Rodgers said when asked if the issue will affect Evans' availability.

"I felt he was struggling to push off, so we’ll see how he is in next 24-48 hours."

The former Manchester United defender made 28 league appearances last season for the Foxes.

Leicester had been leading 2-0 against Napoli after goals from Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes, before Victor Osimhen's late double earned the visitors a point.

Wilfred Ndidi was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time to compound a disappointing end to the game for Leicester.

“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t win the game," Rodgers said. "We were in a great position, but we were playing against a really experienced team and we just couldn’t see it through. We’ll learn from that.

“I said to the players afterwards, there was so many good things in the game, but we’ve got to keep the ball better because by the end, when you don’t have the ball so much and you’re chasing the game, you can tire that little bit.

“We had some players getting their first 90 minutes of the season as well, and then obviously, their big striker [Osimhen], who’s £70-odd-million, so you can see his quality, and he gets his two goals.

“Overall, if you can’t win it, even though we were in a good position, you make sure you don’t lose it and the point is a start for us. Now, we’ve got another nine or 10 to go.”

Related items

  • Johnnie Jackson: AFC Wimbledon’s last-gasp win is up there with my best moments Johnnie Jackson: AFC Wimbledon’s last-gasp win is up there with my best moments

    Johnnie Jackson hailed AFC Wimbledon’s sensational stoppage-time winner against bitter rivals MK Dons as one of his finest moments as a manager.

    The match appeared to be heading towards a 0-0 draw after Jack Currie’s delightful looping header hit the woodwork and Stephen Wearne missed an open goal.

    However, Ronan Curtis gave the home fans a moment to remember as he finished off a delightful move in the dying seconds to secure all three points.

    The defeat is a major blow to MK Dons’ automatic promotion push, leaving them fifth, but Jackson believes the last-minute win can inspire his side as they push to make the play-offs.

    “Honestly, it is the highest I have been as a manager and up there with my best moments in football,” he said.

    “It is up there. I was a player for a long time and I had some really good moments, but it is up there with anything.

    “You’ve got a personal pride when you are a player, but as a manager you can become a bit of a slave to the result.

    “To see my team play the way they played and perform the way they did on an occasion like this and get the win makes it really special.

    “We were disappointed with the result in January. You can lose a game of football but we realise the importance of it as a football club.

    “We just got the away game wrong on a lot of levels, so we were keen to put that right.

    “That is the beauty of football in a league season, we were all sat in that changing room after that game wishing that we could have it back.

    “Well here was our chance to get it back and we took it.”

    MK Dons manager Mike Williamson believes his side need to be humble in defeat.

    “I am gutted for the boys and gutted for the fans,” he said.

    “I’m not going to be critical of the players, our in-possession stuff was not as good as it could have been but they had to stand up to a lot of balls into the box so we had to defend with strength and depth.

    “We needed to put our bodies on the line and we did that, but football can come down to moments.

    “We missed a chance and they went up the other end and scored, that’s how brutal the game can be.

    “I feel as though dusting ourselves down and removing the emotion, we’ve got to soak it all in.

    “It’s hard to be humble in defeat but that’s what we are going to be, we accept it and the fact that we weren’t good enough to come here on the day and convincingly feel that we should have won the game.”

  • Cardiff boss Erol Bulut praises influence of Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips Cardiff boss Erol Bulut praises influence of Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips

    Erol Bulut hailed the impact of Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips after Cardiff completed a Severnside derby double over Bristol City.

    Perry Ng’s second-half header gave Cardiff a 1-0 success at Ashton Gate and back-to-back wins for the first time since October.

    The Robins’ best moments were snuffed out by centre-back Phillips, who has proved a key player since arriving from Anfield in January.

    “Nat is a big add to us, he gives confidence in the defence and organises the defence,” said Cardiff manager Bulut after his side had leapfrogged their opponents in the Championship standings.

    “Other players next to him are acting on it and that’s important.

    “He has played for Liverpool and Celtic, big teams, and he knows when you get pressure how to stay calm.

    “He gives this to the other players too and with (goalkeeper) Ethan (Horvath) there now we can also play better from the back.”

    Cardiff’s 66th-minute winner was their 17th goal from a set-piece this season – a Championship high.

    Ng rose highest from a David Turnbull corner for his sixth goal of the season and second against Bristol City after scoring in Cardiff’s 2-0 home win over the Robins in October.

    Bulut said: “I think the game was 50-50 over the 90 minutes, but congratulations to my players because they worked really hard and the luck was on our side.

    “We are one of the best teams in the league from set-pieces.

    “We always work on it and, if you analyse my previous clubs, it’s something we did there too.

    “We kept our concentration and closing down the spaces, so I am happy.

    “We are getting a little confidence back, which is good, and we have to stay together.”

    Bristol City have now lost three in a row since winning at Middlesbrough and beating promotion-chasing Southampton at home.

    A chorus of boos from home fans greeted the final whistle and boss Liam Manning said he would “take it on the chin”.

    Manning said: “I’ve got thick skin. Of course I don’t want to hear it.

    “I want the team to perform and succeed, I’ve had to fight and scrap in my career to get where I am.

    “I’ll take it on the chin, be calm and get ready to go again on Tuesday.”

    Asked what the Robins were short on in defeat, Manning replied: “Quality in the final third.

    “We need people to step up and take responsibility in high-pressure moments and deliver.

    “On the goal, set-pieces are probably Cardiff’s biggest threat – and most of their goals come from first contacts as well – and it’s hugely annoying.

    “I didn’t think there was a huge amount of quality from both sides, so you’ve got to make sure you don’t lose and it finishes 0-0.”

  • Nothing has changed: Xavi plays down reports he may stay on at Barcelona Nothing has changed: Xavi plays down reports he may stay on at Barcelona

    Barcelona boss Xavi insists “nothing has changed” regarding his future following rumours he could reverse his decision to depart the club in the summer.

    The former Barca and Spain midfielder, who is preparing for Sunday’s LaLiga game at fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao, announced in late January he would leave his role at the end of the season.

    Barcelona have picked up form since then, taking 13 points from a possible 15 to boost their faint hopes of overhauling leaders Real Madrid in the title race.

    “As of today, nothing has changed,” Xavi told a press conference.

    “There is no more story than that. It all remains the same and we focus on the next game.

    “It’s true we’ve done well recently; I see the team training great every day and the group of players is less tense than in the past.

    “But tomorrow is a whole new story, here at Barcelona you have a challenge every day.

    “The moment of the truth this season is coming, and we feel we have been good over the last weeks.”

    Third-placed Barcelona thrashed Getafe 4-0 last weekend to build on recent wins over Osasuna, Alaves and Celta Vigo and a 3-3 draw with Granada.

    The Catalan club will return to San Mames just over five weeks after suffering a 4-2 extra-time loss to Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

    Xavi is braced for another tough test as his side seek to maintain momentum.

    “Athletic is the most intense team in the league,” he said. “And they are confident.

    “If we win, it will be a big step forward.

    “It’s the perfect game to match them in intensity and rhythm. Against Getafe, we rediscovered our game. Against Athletic, we have to do the same.”

    Barcelona remain without injured quartet Marcos Alonso, Alejandro Balde, Gavi and Ferran Torres for the visit to the Basque country.

    Xavi also hailed his former team-mate Andres Iniesta during his pre-match press conference.

    Iniesta, who scored Spain’s winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, made the 1,000th senior appearance of his career on Friday, playing for UAE-based side Emirates Club against Ajman.

    “Iniesta is the greatest talent I’ve ever seen in Spanish football,” said Xavi. “A thousand games is many.

    “I admire him and I love him very much, he is a great friend.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.