Brendan Rodgers not interested in Leicester’s lofty position until end of season

Ed Elliot, PA
·3-min read

Brendan Rodgers insists Leicester’s current league position is irrelevant after they moved second in the Premier League by coming from behind to snatch victory at struggling Brighton.

Daniel Amartey’s late header secured a 2-1 success at the Amex Stadium to push the Foxes two points above Manchester United.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s second goal in two games levelled for the Champions League-chasing visitors after Adam Lallana’s first Albion goal gave the lowly hosts a deserved half-time lead.

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Victory on the south coast prevented Leicester going three consecutive top-flight games without a win this season following defeat to Arsenal and a midweek draw with Burnley.

Leicester boss Rodgers saw his side drop out of the top four following a dismal end to last season and is reading nothing into the present standings.

“I will tell you at the end of the season if we’re in the top four or not,” he said.

“It doesn’t really matter being in the top four with 10 games to go.

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“It’s when the whistle blows against Tottenham (on the final day) – that’s when we will be in the top four.

“Other than that we just need to concentrate on our performance level and focus on energy to play like we did that second half.”

Leicester arrived on the south coast seeking to reignite their European push following a rocky 10 days in which they dropped five points, crashed out of the Europa League and saw their substantial injury list lengthen.

The Foxes were second best during a lacklustre opening period in which Lallana opened the scoring inside 10 minutes and hit a post, while Brighton forward Neal Maupay had a goal disallowed for offside.

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Iheanacho’s composed finish in the 62nd minute was just reward for the away side’s improvement, before Amartey – who had conceded possession before Lallana’s goal – made amends by stooping to head home Marc Albrighton’s corner and grab all three points.

“The first half we were too passive and I think we had a little bit of tiredness from midweek, the timing was out in our pressing,” said Rodgers. “We were deservedly behind.

“But we were able to adjust the mentality of the team and I thought second half we were outstanding, the speed of our game, the tempo, and by the end we looked a very good side.”

Brighton remain only three points above the relegation zone after their winless run was extended to five league games following a third successive defeat.

Adam Lallana put Brighton ahead in the 10th minute
Adam Lallana put Brighton ahead in the 10th minute (Neil Hall/PA)

The struggling Seagulls have won only one top-flight home game this term and manager Graham Potter felt the latest loss was “harsh”.

“It’s a sore feeling, that’s for sure. We’re really disappointed to lose the goal in the manner we did and to not get anything from the game,” said Potter.

“Even though I didn’t think we were so much at our best, I thought we maybe could have got something from the game.

“First half we were good, we were close to getting the second and then Leicester responded in the second half.

Potter refused to blame goalkeeper Robert Sanchez for the Leicester defeat
Potter refused to blame goalkeeper Robert Sanchez for the Leicester defeat (Neil Hall/PA)

“I thought second half we gave the ball away too cheaply, missed too many passes.

“I think a defeat is maybe harsh on us but this is a harsh league.”

Potter also refused to blame keeper Sanchez – who earlier made a superb save from Leicester’s full debutant Sidnei Tavares – for failing to claim the ball before Amartey’s decisive goal.

“It’s not a great goal from our perspective but we win and lose as a team,” said Potter. “If it is (a mistake), it’s part of football, and that wasn’t the total reason (for the loss).”