Brendan Rodgers accepts he is ‘under pressure’ at Leicester but says the players must take ‘accountability’ for the club’s struggles this season.
Leicester narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification in each of the last two seasons and have won the FA Cup under Rodgers, but have been unable to build on those performances during the current campaign.
The Foxes are tenth in the Premier League ahead of tomorrow’s trip to face Liverpool, whilst their defence of the FA Cup ended with a 4-1 humbling at Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Rodgers admits that recent results have increased the pressure on his position, though insists he is experienced enough to handle the club’s current situation.
“I am experienced and I know if you win games it’s great, and when you lose you’re open to criticism,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“You’re always under pressure if you don’t get results. Results like the one at the weekend will always put you under pressure, I understand that.”
Rodgers conceded that a large share of the blame should rest with the manager, but believes the Leicester squad must take ‘accountability’ for a season in which the club have struggled for consistency.
“The responsibility, like it always is with a loss, it’s the manager’s. I pick the tactics and team,” he said.
“But there is an accountability with players and we didn’t hit our game and we deservedly lost [against Nottingham Forest]. We need to show our resilience as a team. We haven’t been consistent.
“With it being a derby game, it was a huge disappointment because of what it means for the supporters. They saw the team not play to the level we want.
“I will always support and protect players, but there is accountability. We have to bounce back.”
The 49-year-old spoke on the club’s progress since his arrival from Celtic, having secured successive European qualifications and earned a maiden FA Cup triumph.
Rodgers insists his side must continue ‘striving’ to improve despite their past successes and admitted that his squad is in need of a ‘healthy shake-up’ as he looks to evolve.
🗣️ "I'm an experienced manager and I understand you need to get results in the game."
Brendan Rodgers admits he feels the pressure after Leicester's FA Cup exit at the weekend.pic.twitter.com/GjTHhQMJzr
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 9, 2022
“When I came in we were 13th in the table. They have finished in Europe and won an FA Cup. That cannot be the pinnacle. We have to keep striving. You can’t be timid.
“The performance [at the weekend] reaffirms what we knew anyway. We’re talking about a healthy shake-up. Nine of the 11 were here on the first day I arrived. And now it’s three years later.
“You need to evolve the squad. It’s a healthy shake-up that is required. We must always have a hunger to develop, and sometimes that means bringing in players who have that.
“Competition is a great coach. It’s not on the back of the weekend, it’s something that we need to happen.”
Rodgers called on his side to show resilience during a difficult period, with Leicester having won just two of their past seven fixtures in the Premier League.
“What must never be broken is your spirit because you always get the chance to go again,” he adds. “It’s the challenge you live for, to show that resilience.”
Tomorrow’s clash sees Rodgers make his latest return to former side Liverpool, a challenge he described as ‘the toughest game you could have’ following their thrashing at Forest.
Leicester did, however, beat Liverpool 1-0 in the December meeting between the teams and the Foxes boss hopes his side can show a similar spirit at Anfield.
“It’s the toughest game you could have in the wake of such a result,” he admitted.
“We showed great spirit the last time we played [Liverpool], so I know that is there. We need to show hunger and fight.”