Foxes' Rodgers backs Vardy, blames poor start on team

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has failed to add to his league-leading 19 goals since the Premier League resumed last month. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has failed to add to his league-leading 19 goals since the Premier League resumed last month. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has defended his misfiring star striker Jamie Vardy, insisting it was the responsibility of the entire team to find ways to score.

The Foxes have struggled since English football restarted following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus, scoring just one goal in two league draws and the 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final loss to Chelsea on Sunday.

Vardy is without a goal in those three games, but has 19 in 33 matches this season, to go with six assists.

Asked ahead of today's Premier League trip to Everton about the forward's form, Rodgers backed the league's leading scorer and said he wanted more from his entire attack, not just the Englishman.

"There's lots of focus on Jamie, but this is not just about Jamie, this is the responsibility of the team and it's my responsibility to find ways in which we can find ways to increase our goalscoring," he said.

"It's the responsibility of everyone. I think if you look at his record in terms of goals, he's a true finisher.

"Of course we want to get him more service, but we are looking at ways to develop and get our wingers back to being involved and scoring and creating goals, and of course our midfield players.

"A lot of spotlight on Jamie, but it is not just the striker, it's the team's contribution. So that's something we need to improve."

Leicester, who are third on 55 points, are just a point ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea, who travel to West Ham today.

Rodgers also said the club's King Power Stadium is "a very safe environment" and his team will continue to work in the same way unless told otherwise by local authorities as the number of Covid-19 cases rise in the area.

The UK government has imposed a lockdown on the city, which has a higher infection rate than anywhere else in the country, in its first major attempt to curb an outbreak with local rather than national measures.

 
 

Speaking before Monday's decision, which could see Leicester play their three remaining Premier League home games at neutral venues, Rodgers said his team had to be flexible.

"Nothing has changed in terms of how we have been working thus far," the Northern Irishman said.

"It's a very safe environment for the games to be in. But I have always said we will react accordingly.

"I think in this moment we are in the safest place we can be, in terms of our work, the stadium also."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2020, with the headline 'Foxes' Rodgers backs Vardy, blames poor start on team'. Print Edition | Subscribe