EPL

Rodgers will '200 per cent' be at Leicester next season despite Champions League blow

By Sports Desk May 23, 2021

Brendan Rodgers will "200 per cent" be in charge of Leicester City next season despite his side missing out on Champions League qualification with defeat to Tottenham.

The Foxes started the final round of Premier League games in fifth and would have finished above fourth-placed Chelsea – beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa on Sunday - had they defeated Spurs.

But Leicester failed to preserve a 2-1 lead given to them by a couple of Jamie Vardy penalties, either side of Harry Kane's strike, as they lost 4-2 at the King Power Stadium.

Kasper Schmeichel punched a corner into his own net and substitute Gareth Bale added a couple of late goals to earn Tottenham a comeback win that saw them finish seventh.

Rodgers, who guided Leicester to their first FA Cup triumph with victory over Chelsea in last week's final, has been linked with a move away ahead of next season.

However, the ex-Celtic boss intends to stay on at Leicester. Asked if he was willing to allay supporters' fears amid links with Tottenham, Rodgers told talkSPORT: "200 per cent I can... I love it here."

Rodgers added at his post-match news conference: "The fans need have no worries about myself, I love it here, even more so that we've just missed out. 

"That motivates me even more to be here to push the club even closer to that level. We'll plan and get ready."

Leicester lost just six of their first 25 Premier League games of 2020-21, compared to six losses in their last 13 to see out the campaign.

They ended more days (242) in the top four than any other Premier League side this term, yet they have to settle for a place in the Europa League again next season.

Rodgers replaced Claude Puel as Leicester boss in February 2019 with the club 11th in the league and has since guided them to successive fifth-placed finishes in his first two full seasons in charge. 

And while the 48-year-old is disappointed to have missed out on the Champions League again, he is pleased with the progress made in his time at the helm.

"It's hugely disappointing for us to miss out," he told BBC Sport. "We fought so hard all season. You're judged after 38 games and unfortunately we couldn't quite make it.

"I have nothing but pride and admiration for the players. They've constantly had things go against them with injuries.

"When we started work together we were mid-table and just over two years later we're challenging the elite and won the FA Cup for the first time in our history.

"We're on the right path without the resources [of other teams]. I have nothing but pride. The ownership have given me amazing support. 

"The players have given me their heart and souls every day. I'm so disappointed for them we couldn't get over the line."

Leicester finished the campaign as the joint-third highest scorers in the league with 68 goals, but Rodgers is looking to add to his attacking options during the close-season.

"We would like to strengthen the top end of the field – we need more of a goal threat," he said at his post-match news conference.

"We also need a little more physicality in the team and need more players with a winning feeling to add to the ground of talented players we have."

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