Rodgers predicts 'special things on the horizon' for Foxes

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy getting the better of Brighton defender Shane Duffy to score his team's second goal in the 2-1 Premier League win at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy getting the better of Brighton defender Shane Duffy to score his team's second goal in the 2-1 Premier League win at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • With the Claude Puel cloud lifted, here comes Brendan Rodgers' reign.

Leicester's new manager ran the rule over his charges from the directors' box on Tuesday as they claimed their first home win since Boxing Day, thanks to goals by Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy.

Rodgers, whose appointment was confirmed just before kick-off, was given a rapturous greeting from the fans and the reception was understandable after the restraint of Puel's 16-month tenure at the King Power Stadium.

While Davy Propper pulled one back, it was not enough for relegation-threatened Brighton as they slumped to a 2-1 Premier League defeat.

However, the night was all about Rodgers, who indicated he would bring the charisma and people skills that Leicester need.

The former Liverpool boss, back in England after three years in Scotland with Celtic, made all the right noises, promising to "give his life to make the supporters proud of their club".

He added: "It feels great, it has obviously come very quickly over the last few days, but I know I'm joining a fantastic club that has grown so quickly over these last few years.

"It's a young squad, a very dynamic squad, it's got huge potential and you've also got some of the players with good experience.

"There were a number of factors in being here and, like I say, I'm absolutely delighted.

"When the opportunity came to talk to Leicester and I was able to analyse it, it allowed me to think that I had probably achieved and taken the club at Celtic maybe as far as I could at this moment."

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Leicester's vice-chairman, said: "I'm absolutely delighted to bring a manager of Brendan's calibre to Leicester and I look forward to seeing what he, our talented, young squad and our dedicated, skilled team of staff can achieve together."

First-team coach Mike Stowell, who took charge of the Brighton encounter, told reporters Rodgers had spoken to the players in the dressing room and predicted "there are special things on the horizon".

He said: "He was proud of them and liked the spirit. The atmosphere has lifted with a win and, with the new manager, I'm sure he'll bring a lot of good things and he's got a lot of staff with him. It's exciting times."

One of the new faces will be former Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool defender Kolo Toure, who will join the backroom staff as a first-team coach.

The Ivorian played and worked for the 46-year-old at Anfield and Parkhead, and Rodgers is also expected to raid Celtic for several of their key players.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2019, with the headline 'Rodgers predicts 'special things on the horizon' for Foxes'. Print Edition | Subscribe