Leicester City are running neck-and-neck with last season but manager Brendan Rodgers is confident his side will not mirror their run-in from 12 months ago.
Brendan Rodgers said “(This season) is totally different. I’ve been really proud of the players this season. We’ve had much more to deal with in terms of our European games and the difficulties we’ve had around injuries. Of our last six league games, we’ve won three, we’ve drawn two and only lost one, so 11 out of 18 points. Over six games, that’s okay. We’ve lost one game, which we weren’t at our level. We’ve been talking about dealing with the (injury) situation. It’s unfortunate. We keep looking to deal with that and put out a team in a way that can allow us to get a result. We’re certainly not dwelling on the negativity around it. We would love to have all of the squad fully fit, and that would be great, but it’s not the case, so I can’t do anything more than what we’re doing at the moment. We still have a lot of games to play and a real exciting end to the season. We just have to deal with what comes our way and look to win the next game. We’re in a really good position in the league and we have to reinforce that each time we play. I’ve never been one to look at it and think we’re in the top four. You’re in the top four when you sign off at the end of the season, and the final whistle goes after the last game against Tottenham. Where you are, you deserve to finish in that position. Until that comes, we come in every day, have a good energy and a good attitude to our work and we’ll see where it takes us.”
However, Rodgers did admit that, more than most seasons, the depth of squads will play a bigger role in where a team finishes, knowing many of the teams in the chasing pack have greater resources than he does.
Brendan Rodgers said “Naturally, the squad with the deepest number of players and the ones that are injury free, that can be a huge advantage when there are so many games,” he said. “In such a unique season, that is something that aids getting results. But it’s not to say you can’t. For us, there’s still such a long way to go, 11 games is a lot of games to play but you can only focus on the next one. We hope in the next number of weeks we can get some of our players back, but if not, we’ll deal with it. We finished where we wanted to finish last year in terms of a European place. Every team would love to be in the top four, but for us, success is always going to be European football, with the challenges we have against the other clubs, the depth of squads and the financial clout that those teams have. For us to be up there challenging is terrific. We want to be as competitive as we possibly can be. Up to this point, we have been, so we hope that can continue.”
Wednesday’s draw at Burnley took City to 50 points from 27 games, exactly the same tally they had at this point last year. Back then, City’s form was stumbling – they had earned just five points from six matches – and they had injury issues to contend with, Rodgers’ men eventually picking up just 12 points from their last 11 games to drop out of the top four. City have injuries again, and more this time, but Rodgers is happy with the form of his team, even as they head to Brighton on Saturday without a win in three games in all competitions.
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