Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers spoke to the media on Thursday following his first win as boss against Fulham last weekend.
His side are preparing for a trip away to Burnley on Saturday as Rodgers will look to begin a winning run. The Foxes’ hopes of a Europa League spot are slim but the new boss will want to finish the season strong.
Other talking points in the presser were James Maddison’s England snub, his changing opinion on Jamie Vardy, Foxes youngster Hamza Choudhury and his aims for European qualification.
Here’s what Rodgers had to say:
On Eduardo Macia's exit
Rodgers revealed that this had been something on the cards for a few months before he had even taken over at the club.
“When I first came in, this was something that I was made aware, something that was [decided] pre-Christmas that Eduardo was going to move on.
“He wants a fresh challenge and he’s a really good guy.
“The club will go through the process of finding a replacement. I’m sure there will be a number of candidates that could help us make the next step. Over the coming weeks, we’ll go through a process.
“I will be involved. It will be a club appointment but it is important the manager is involved.”
On Hamza Choudhury
Rodgers was full of praise for the Leicester midfielder, despite the youngster not featuring for the side since his arrival.
“He’s a very good young player, he hasn’t played for me yet, but I’ve seen him in the games where he came in.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him, he’s got a lot of potential. He covers the ground really well and breaks up play very well.
On Maddison missing out on an England call-up
England manager Gareth Southgate named his latest squad yesterday. Some fans were quite surprised that Maddison was snubbed. The Foxes midfielder leads Europe’s top five leagues in goalscoring chances created this season.
“They have a whole raft of good players but I have no doubt Maddison will improve as a player.
“He has the last pass you don’t see a lot of midfield players have. He is a huge talent and he can play forward very quickly because he has vision in his game.
“We want to add intensity and his goalscoring to help him. He is a wonderful player and he has made great strides.
“It will come in time and he needs to concentrate on being the best he can for Leicester and that will come in the coming years.”
On the Fulham win
Rodgers thought his side’s victory last Saturday was better at the second time of watching.
“I was really pleased with the performance. I went away and watched it and it was better than I thought at the time.
“There were lots of good moments for us, particularly in the first half.
“The players showed what good teams do, start quickly and finish strong.”
On Jamie Vardy
The Leicester manager says his opinion of the Foxes striker has grown greater since joining the club.
“From the outside, he was a top-class scorer and the focal point of a title-winning team but it is only when you see them close up you see their real value.
“He is tactically very good, his ability to understand the game is very good. He will be the focus when we press the game.
“He has mental strength and loves to train. He wants to work. He is in early 30s and wants to get better.”
On European qualification
To qualify for European competition is what Rodgers says he aims to accomplish with his new side. Whether that is still possible this season remains to be seen.
“I said on my first day here my expectation is in time to get the club back into Europe. Whenever that is, great.
“Now I want to stabilise the squad and the team and put in place an identity to become better but whenever it comes you accept it.
“There are a number of games to go and we will finish where we finish but then have a good pre-season and a good run at it next year, but that is what we want to achieve.”