Brendan Rodgers says Leicester are underdogs in race for Europe

Finishing seventh would earn a Europa League spot if Man City win the FA Cup

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates his team’s win against Huddersfield. Photograph: PA

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates his team’s win against Huddersfield. Photograph: PA

 

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes the Foxes are underdogs in the race for Europe.

They host Newcastle on Friday aiming for a fifth-straight win — which would be their best Premier League run for two years.

Their form has lifted them to seventh — which would earn a Europa League spot if Manchester City win the FA Cup.

Leicester are ahead of Wolves on goal difference — having played a game more — and a point above Everton and Watford, and Rodgers feels they are favourites ahead of his side.

He said: “While you’re playing well you claim the points but others will still have an advantage with the games to play.

“It (European qualification) wasn’t something that we thought about coming in. The job is to get through to the end of the season, building a base for the summer.

“We want to entertain the supporters, they have to want to come to the stadium and be happy with what they’ve seen. We’re building towards that.

“I always think confidence comes from hard work. There’s no rocket science to it. We prepare very intensely to maximise what we can get out of the players.

“The basis of that is just hard work. We always try to be clear in how we play and I always think that helps.

“You gain confidence from winning games. If it doesn’t work out I never get frustrated with players. They will always make mistakes but I think they have enjoyed the learning environment we have created.”

Daniel Amartey (ankle) and Marc Albrighton (hamstring) are out but are closing in on a return with Albrighton back in training ahead of schedule.

Harry Maguire will be back to face Newcastle after being allowed to miss the 4-1 win at Huddersfield following the birth of his daughter Lillie.

Rodgers added: “He looks very happy. I said to him that having a child eventually it makes you a better person.

“He obviously didn’t train a lot last week, I gave him the weekend to make sure Fern and his newborn child were back home safe. He’s trained this week and looks very strong and very focused.”

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