Don’t leave early – your team will never give up, Rodgers tells Foxes fans
Brendan Rodgers has warned Leicester supporters that his team’s winning mentality means they leave matches early at their peril.
Some Foxes fans had already made for the exits against Everton and missed Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal deep into injury time that sealed a dramatic 2-1 victory.
Their pessimism would perhaps have been forgiven, given that prior to Sunday the last time Leicester scored a winning goal in the 90th minute or later at the King Power Stadium was August 2018 – Harry Maguire in a 2-1 success over Southampton.
However, Rodgers feels the current squad possess a never-say-die attitude and a belief that they can win every game.
Asked if he noticed fans leaving against Everton, the Leicester manager swiftly replied: “Yes.
“I want them to stay. I know there can be a bit of a traffic queue getting out of here, but, as long as they know this team is going to go right to the very end…At 1-1 they should never doubt that this team is finished.
“The players have the stamina and mentality to go to the very end, we will push to the very end. Do not leave at 1-1.
“The players have a mentality that every single game – home or away – we can win. They believe we can do that.”
Rodgers insists it is a state of mind that has been harnessed since his appointment as manager in February.
“The reason I came here was I felt my staff and I could hopefully make a difference,” he said. “We had a clear vision of how we wanted to play and the standards we set, and from that you just go into a process.
“It becomes clear the longer you work together and of course then you’re fostering a mindset and mentality – that’s the magic in it all, it’s amazing to be a part of it.
“I think my message is – and make sure you put this in your notes – ‘supporters, don’t leave early’.
“Look at the intensity and fitness in the team. They’re breaking forward in that last period. That’s a process and the players have been first class.”
Leicester have the chance to equal a club record run of seven straight top-flight wins, dating back to March 1963, when they host bottom side Watford on Wednesday night.
Rodgers took his first step into management at Vicarage Road and admits he still has a soft spot for his former club.
“They gave me an opportunity at the age of 35 and I’ll always be thankful to Watford, they’re a brilliant club,” said the Northern Irishman. “The supporters were brilliant with me and I always look out for their results.”
Hayden Mullins will be in change of the Hornets after Quique Sanchez Flores was sacked following Saturday’s defeat at Southampton.
It is Watford’s second managerial change of the season as the club look to make an 11th appointment since the Pozzo family’s takeover in June 2012 and Rodgers feels they may have been too quick to get rid of the Spaniard.
“The owners of Watford have a model in terms of not just recruitment but in terms of managers. They’ve been through a lot of managers, it’s obviously a different club to when I was there in terms of owners,” said Rodgers.
“Quique Sanchez Flores was presumably bought back by the owners because they thought he was a fantastic manager and had done well for them in the past, but he hasn’t even had the chance to get players in in a transfer window.
“Now there’s so much money in the game that it frightens owners. Of course that means they make changes that much quicker.”