Brendan Rodgers: Leicester Metropolis boss praises the affect of latest signing Wout Faes after Foxes’ defensive enchancment restores confidence | football-news

When Leicester misplaced at Tottenham in September, Brendan Rodgers knew one thing needed to be performed.

A late Heung-Min Son hat-trick had taken the sport away from the guests in north London and despatched Spurs to a 6-2 win. It was a sixth defeat in a row for Leicester and one other bruising scoreline for a facet which had shipped 22 targets of their first seven matches, the worst defensive begin by a prime division membership in 57 years.

However what made it much more irritating for Rodgers was that he had seen loads of positives in his staff’s show. Positives undermined by a pricey openness out of possession.

“I felt, in a humorous approach, after the Tottenham sport that we performed rather well,” he tells Sky Sports activitiesa few months on.

“We conceded two targets from corners, which was one thing which upset us, however our precise sport was good. By way of a little bit of naivety within the staff we misplaced the targets late on, simply by our willingness to go and chase the sport.

“After that we talked about how we had to make sure we’d shut the door from behind. We all know we are able to rating targets however we have now to play with that wee bit extra tactical self-discipline in our sport. We labored on that after the worldwide break and from Nottingham Forest onward we have been a lot better.

“We needed to slender our give attention to our solidarity with out the ball and ensuring we had been collectively as a result of except you’ll be able to defend properly, you’ll be able to’t win video games. That is one thing we did with our analytical staff and as coaches, all of us sat down and narrowed the give attention to that.”

The advance has been stark. Leicester have let in simply three targets of their final six video games, stored 4 clear sheets and produced a superb defensive show in opposition to Manchester Metropolis on Saturday – though finally got here unstuck by a beautiful free-kick from Kevin De Bruyne.

Leicester restricted Man Metropolis to only 5 photographs heading in the right direction – the identical quantity that they had themselves

The ten factors they’ve picked up throughout that run hasn’t been sufficient to carry them out of the relegation zone solely but it surely’s clear there’s now extra optimism and positivity across the Leicester camp.

“It was all the time going to be a course of, I reiterated the staff would get higher,” says Rodgers as we sit down on the membership’s first-class coaching facility, the place morning rain has made approach for heat autumn sunshine.

Leicester’s collective enchancment defensively has additionally been aided by the arrival of Wout Faes, the £15m deadline day signing from Reims. That defeat to Tottenham was a painful debut for the 24-year-old Belgian. However since then he has emerged as a key determine within the Leicester backline, setting the usual for the restoration.

One in all simply two signings made by Leicester in the summertime – the opposite being back-up goalkeeper Alex Smithies on a free switch – Faes has rapidly made his mark on this staff and his supervisor, with Rodgers stuffed with reward for the centre-back’s understanding of the game.

“I have been very impressed,” says Rodgers. “He performs as if he is a lot older. He is aware of soccer – and having guys in your backline that know the sport makes an enormous distinction.

Wout Faes has had a big impact for Leicester
Wout Faes has had a huge impact for Leicester

“He is well-educated in soccer, you’ll be able to see that in how he performs and his sport is suited to the Premier League. He is aggressive for us. The kinds of defenders I like – he defends ahead, he presses the sport properly, he is good when it comes into the field, he will get his head on it and he can play soccer. He is performed very, very properly and I have been actually happy along with his begin.”

For the entire Foxes’ frustrations in the summertime window, Faes seems to be a improbable addition. A rising star in his nation, Faes’ high quality and potential for him was confirmed by compatriot Youri Tielemans in a chat with Rodgers earlier than the deal was performed.

“It was an ideal discover by our recruitment staff,” stated Rodgers. “He is clearly come from being a captain along with his staff from him in France, so he has management qualities. I spoke to Youri about him and Youri spoke very extremely of Wout.

“He’ll most likely be in Belgium’s nationwide staff very quickly. After I met him he got here throughout as that kind of man. However you all the time get judged by what you do on the sphere and on the sphere he is been very good.”

The uplift Faes has given to Rodgers’ protection is an instance of why the supervisor was so eager to usher in extra new faces through the switch window, to refresh and drive a staff which has loved loads of success in latest seasons to go once more.

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Leicester Metropolis supervisor Brendan Rodgers believes his staff can proceed to enhance, following a latest run of excellent type. The Foxes had initially struggled for factors at the beginning of the season

The World Cup break will give Leicester’s teaching and recruitment employees a chance to evaluate precisely the place they should strengthen subsequent – however plans are already properly underneath approach for January’s switch window.

“We wanted that freshness, so as to add that vitality to the staff. The thought was to have three-four gamers to come back in,” Rodgers says with a wry smile.

“I do know as a membership we’re trying ahead and hoping we are able to do some enterprise in January and hopefully these guys can have an identical affect.”

Rodgers: I could not have performed like we did in opposition to Man Metropolis 10 years in the past

The quick focus for Rodgers and his gamers, although, is to capitalize on their latest enhancements and end this primary section of the season strongly, with Premier League away video games in opposition to Everton and West Ham sandwiching a Carabao Cup tie at dwelling to Newport.

Rodgers is able to assault the problem. After feeling compelled to go to a 5-4-1 and attempt to shut up store in opposition to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester Metropolis, he’s relishing the prospect of his facet enjoying front-foot, dominant soccer once more at Goodison.

“It is the evolution of myself as a coach. The arrange in opposition to Man Metropolis, is one thing that 10 years in the past I might by no means have performed,” says Rodgers. “The sensation of dedication.

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Leicester had been in a position to restrict Manchester Metropolis final Saturday – aside from Kevin De Bruyne’s positive free-kick

“My sport has all the time been based mostly across the attacking intent and after I’m speaking about attacking I imply defending as properly, urgent ahead, urgent excessive. However the expertise and evolution of me as a coach – and I do know I by no means should do it too usually – with a staff as distinctive as Man Metropolis, with the extent of participant they’ve, you need to be within the sport so long as you’ll be able to.

“You may open up and press and do all of the issues usually related to my groups however due to their expertise you will discover your self down within the sport and you’ve got seen that with so many groups in opposition to Man Metropolis.

“I will not play that approach too many occasions in my profession. However I do take pleasure in that problem. Most video games we’ll look to essentially go and convey our authority to the sport and impose our approach of enjoying on a sport.”

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Rodgers feels his improvement as a coach has additionally been enhanced by the robust occasions he and his gamers have been by this season. He is assured Leicester would be the higher for it on the finish.

“It is an space of ​​the league the place I have not been in since my first job as a supervisor after I went into Watford within the decrease finish of the Championship,” says Rodgers. “It has been an ideal teaching problem to take the staff steadily away and that is what you need.

“It is simple once you’re successful and difficult for trophies however the problem is completely totally different once you’re down on the backside finish. As a supervisor you’ll be able to solely enhance from it.

“You are relying in your data of the sport and gamers and the teaching. You retain your endurance, which is essential. These gamers, since I have been right here, have given me every thing. They have been so good for me and it was about re-enforcing them and maintaining the composure so they might discover that confidence once more after the tough begin.

“I am fairly certain they and the followers will get rewarded for that and are available the top of the season, we’ll be in a a lot more healthy place.”

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