Leicester News

Rodgers explains how Leicester will react to heightened focus on star man

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Brendan Rodgers knows Spartak Moscow will be keeping a closer eye on Patson Daka when they lock horns with Leicester City again in the Europa League on Thursday.

Daka scored all four of Leicester’s goals in a 4-3 win in the reverse group fixture in Russia. Two weeks on, the two sides will be meeting again on matchday four. Neither are in the qualification places in their group at present, so it will be a big game.

It would certainly be beneficial for Leicester if Daka can replicate his impact from the previous match – even if asking for a four-goal haul again would be unreasonable. In fact, he hasn’t found the net in their three games since.

Rodgers thinks he will be an asset to Leicester whether he scores or not – but knows Spartak will be trying to deal with him better.

“When you have a special individual performance like that, it makes the opposition more aware,” he said.

“It’s about the team. Patson’s goals came from some great bits of play, the midfield playing some great balls, Kels [Kelechi Iheanacho] making a run.

“It’s everything in the team to create the opportunities, but then it’s about him finishing and that’s what he did magnificently.

“If he starts, we’d love him to get another four goals. If he contributes like he did without the ball, I’ll be happy.”

Rodgers is not underestimating the importance of the clash with the side currently bottom of the group.

He believes Spartak will be a difficult opponent again and the players will need no motivation to compete.

“It’s a very important game for us,” he explained. “We have put ourselves in a position with two home games.

“We know it will be a difficult game. We will have to work very hard. If we can minimise our mistakes and play our game, we know we can do well. We want to put ourselves in a better position in the table.

“The importance of the result is clear. The process is what we’ve been convincing the players of over the past few days.

“Without the ball it’s about minimising the mistakes. With the ball it’s about playing with freedom. Looking at the table, you can see the importance for everyone.”

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