Soccer

Brendan Rodgers focused on Leicester, not on doing favours

05 May 2019 - 00:02 By The Daily Telegraph and AFP and Reuters


There has been plenty of talk about how sentiment could play a part in the climax of the Premier League title race, given the role of especially one former Liverpool manager. Do not expect any.
Whatever the emotional attachments of Brendan Rodgers to his former club, it will have no impact on his approach to fixtures which will have a huge influence on the title's destiny.
Liverpool will only be in pole position to clinch the league title on May 12 if Rodgers' Leicester can claim a point or better at the Etihad Stadium and the Reds also win their remaining games.
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side are targeting a 13th consecutive league victory in their bid to retain their title.
Rodgers will want to beat Manchester City at the Etihad tomorrow as he continues to rebuild Leicester City, relishing the chance to show his players they can play progressive, attacking football against the best side in the country.
Leicester are enjoying a fine run of form under manager Rodgers. They have lost just one of their last seven matches, and striker Jamie Vardy has been in excellent touch in front of goal.
It has been an excellent start for Rodgers on his return to the Premier League and a positive performance and result tomorrow would bode well for Leicester's hopes of pushing on next year.
Rodgers may still have strong feelings for Liverpool but this will be secondary to his own objectives. You do not become Liverpool manager without that competitive streak. There will be no compromises.
Rodgers is an idealist, seeing himself as a coach who could educate the players to impose themselves on a game in the manner we see from Guardiola's City side.
He is more communicative. It is not solely about winning for Rodgers, but the style in which you do it.
He is prepared to take risks, encouraging players to play more courageous football in the knowledge that while his teams will score more, they are also more likely to concede.
If Leicester are level with City in the closing stages Rodgers is more likely to go for the win.
Rodgers will try to achieve what few teams manage: dominate possession against Manchester City. The Premier League form guide has Leicester third over the past six games so his players are responding to his methods.
They are playing with confidence and have the pace to hurt any defence - Vardy could still win the Golden Boot. Equally, playing an expansive game at the Etihad can end in tears.
Rodgers, who went agonisingly close to winning the league with Liverpool in 2013-14, says he's only focused on his job at Leicester.
"I am employed by Leicester. My focus is on Leicester City. There's no comparison really," Rodgers told a news conference.
"It's exciting to be involved, but my thoughts are solely with Leicester and doing what we can to get a result."
Leicester, who beat Arsenal 3-0 in their last league outing, are in contention for a potential Europa League qualification spot, lying three points behind seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers. 
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019

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