Brendan Rodgers has released a statement following his sacking by Leicester City last weekend.
The Northern Irishman leaves the King Power after four years at the helm. During his time, he guided Leicester to a first-ever FA Cup triumph. The East Midlands side also enjoyed multiple seasons of European football with Rodgers in charge.
However, 2022/23 has seen a massive downturn in results. The Foxes have not won in their last seven games, which included an FA Cup elimination to Blackburn of the Championship. Saturday’s loss to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace was the last straw for Leicester, sacking Brendan Rodgers shortly after.
On Tuesday, Rodgers made a statement via the League Managers Association. After thanking the club and players, he hailed the progression that Leicester has made.
“There is a strong infrastructure and environment in place that puts the club on a strong footing to move forward,” said the Northern Irishman. “A world-class training facility, a passionate and unswerving fan base, a group of great players full of ability and character, and special owners.
“I am obviously disappointed to depart so close to the end of the season and had every confidence that we would have delivered the results needed to preserve the club’s Premier League status. I would like to wish everybody at the club the very best of luck as they seek to deliver on this objective.
“I’m now looking forward to having a chance to reflect and recharge. Then I can get ready for the next opportunity.”
The Foxes are now without a full-time manager as they negotiate a relegation battle.
Leicester: relegation run-in after Brendan Rodgers exit
Currently, Leicester sit second bottom in the Premier League after relieving Brendan Rodgers of his duties. At the time of writing, they are two points adrift of safety – although, this also makes them just two points off 14th place.
Nevertheless, their perilous situation makes every game crucial. April sees the Foxes battle a trio of relegation rivals. They take on Bournemouth (17th place) on Saturday in a pivotal home fixture. Two weeks later, Leicester host Wolves in what could be another relegation scrap.
However, Julen Lopetegui has managed to give Wanderers some breathing space from the drop.
Leicester then round out the month with a tough trip to Elland Road to play Leeds. Both of these sides sit in the bottom three (as of 04/04), so this is a true six-pointer. If Leicester want to see 2023/24 in the Premier League, they will need to take points from these games.
They also host Aston Villa and travel to Man City in April. Any points from these fixtures are welcome, but less likely than the games against bottom-half rivals.
The Foxes’ matches in May
The last month of the season also begins with a relegation battle. Leicester play Everton at the Kind Power on 1 May, with both sides deep in the mire. Shaun Dyche has made the Toffees a tough team to play – but Leicester fans will expect three points here, too.
Especially because the next three games could be tough. The Foxes have Fulham, followed by Liverpool and Newcastle. All three sides are battling for European spots – obviously having better campaigns than Leicester.
Additionally, the 2016 Premier League champs have already lost to these teams in the reverse games; form is therefore not on their side, either.
Leicester finish off 2022/23 at home. This advantage could be of huge benefit as they face West Ham. The Hammers have experienced a similar year to Leicester; before this season started, many would have predicted them to push for Europe.
In contrast, both clubs are separated by just two points and are at the wrong end of the table. Optimistic Foxes fans may hope that they will be safe before this game. If it turns into a must-win on the last day, David Moyes’ side could prove a dangerous opponent.
To reach the traditional “safe” mark of 40 points, Leicester need five wins from their last ten games. On paper, this seems possible with the fixtures ahead. Bournemouth, Wolves, Leeds, Everton, and West Ham are really the games where Leicester should aim for three points – results from the others is possible, but really a bonus.
It will be a nail-biting climax to the season for the club, especially without a full-time manager.
Featured image credit: Getty