November 3, 2019 / 6:20 PM / 8 days ago

Rodgers says Leicester can get even better

LONDON (Reuters) - Brendan Rodgers believes his high-flying Leicester City side can get even better as they mount an increasingly impressive challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Leicester City - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - November 3, 2019 Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates after the match REUTERS/David Klein

Leicester followed up their 9-0 hammering of Southampton last week with a clinical 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday to move back above Chelsea into third place in the table.

With 23 points from 11 games they have made a better start than they did in the 2015-16 campaign under Claudio Ranieri when they went on to claim the title.

Rodgers, who replaced Claude Puel last season, has now won 12 Premier League games, behind only Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola in that period.

The former Liverpool and Celtic boss says there is more to come too.

“We’re 11 games in and we’ve made a really good start,” Rodgers said on Sunday after his side’s seventh win in their last nine league games. “And the players will get better.

“That’s the nice aspect. They are hungry to learn and they have an ambition to be the best and that’s a magic formula for any coach. We are not getting carried away though, it’s a long season, but we’ve made a good start.”

Since taking charge, Rodgers has re-ignited Jamie Vardy who notched his 10th goal of the season on Sunday and appears to be playing at the level of the Premier League title season.

With James Maddison and Youri Tielemans providing the creativity and Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu a rock-like central defensive partnership, Leicester look capable of maintaining their challenge.

Soyuncu has proved to be a superb replacement for Harry Maguire, who left for Manchester United, and he opened his account for the club on Sunday by heading the first goal.

“He is getting better all the time. He has a consistent run in the team now,” Rodgers said of the elegant 23-year-old Turkish player signed from Freiburg in 2018.

“He is very aggressive the type of defender I like. I am delighted for him and the team.”

Rodgers praised his side for the mental resilience to back up their big win at Southampton against a Palace side who themselves have been impressive so far this season.

“I have great pride with the team today,” he said. “You need to be strong mentally when you come to teams like this.

“Roy (Hodgson) sets his teams up well and you know when your chances come you have to take them and we did. It’s also another clean sheet and that’s so important.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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