Brendan Rodgers gearing up for ‘exciting’ year ahead at Leicester
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is gearing up for an “exciting” year ahead.
The Foxes lie second in the Premier League and have a Carabao Cup semi-final against Aston Villa to look forward to next month.
Leicester proved the strength of their squad when a much-changed side beat West Ham 2-1 on Saturday, and Rodgers said: “I told the players that we start the new year before that match, the second part of the season, and 2020 could be a very exciting time for us.
“We’ve got a big month, a lot of games, a semi-final and of course our objective is to get to Wembley.
“Our focus really above everything is on our next game and how to recover the players. But it’s an exciting time for the club.”
Defeats by Liverpool and Manchester City either side of Christmas showed there is still a gap to be bridged to the elite.
The transfer January window provides an opportunity for Leicester to make further inroads, but Rodgers insists they are in no hurry to splash the cash.
“Over time what we want to do is develop, there’s no doubt about that, if we’re going to compete with your Manchester Citys and Liverpools,” he added.
“We know we need extra quality and different profiles of players, but it’s step by step. We’re not a club that can just go out and spend £80-90million on a player. The club doesn’t work that way.
“We have to bring in a certain type of player, develop him and allow him to grow into our way.
“That’s why I’m here, to try to aid that development for the players and for the team and create a culture that can hopefully allow us to sustain European football.
“We’ve got some fantastic players but of course everybody would like to improve. The players have to be affordable and available for that.
“But that’s something the club will look after – they’re very, very good at that recruitment side. If the club can get them, then I’m sure they will.”
Jamie Vardy will return against Newcastle on New Year’s Day having missed the West Ham match after his wife gave birth to their daughter.
Ricardo Pereira is expected to be fit after resting a tight hamstring.