Sunday 22 September 2019

Choudhury tackle not malicious, says Leicester boss Rodgers

Choudhury was criticised for a challenge which left Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie with a serious ankle injury.

Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury has been criticised by Newcastle boss Steve Bruce (Richard Sellars/PA)
Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury has been criticised by Newcastle boss Steve Bruce (Richard Sellars/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, PA

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has defended Hamza Choudhury after Steve Bruce criticised his “horror” challenge on Matt Ritchie.

Newcastle winger Ritchie is out until October with ankle ligament damage and needed stitches after a tackle from Choudhury in the Foxes’ Carabao Cup win on Wednesday.

The midfielder was only booked in Leicester’s penalty shootout victory, with Bruce upset with the 21-year-old.

Choudhury’s new four-year contract was announced by the Foxes on Friday and Rodgers believes he did not mean to harm Ritchie.

“I spoke to Steve after the game. It’s one of those challenges, it’s very committed,” he said.

“He’s a real genuine, honest boy, Hamza, so he certainly wasn’t looking to injure anybody.

“It was a strong challenge. He went in with the intent to win the ball, which was clear, and then maybe just on the follow through has just slightly injured Ritchie.

“He wouldn’t go in on purpose. He’s a very strong player, a very honest player and we don’t ever want to lose that from him. He understands it’s a part of the game he needs to focus on.”

Choudhury agreed his fresh deal ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit of Bournemouth.

He has started all three of the Foxes’ league games this term having come through the ranks at the King Power Stadium.

Rodgers said: “He’s a very talented young player who has obviously come through the system here. He knows everything about the club.

“You can see he’s a talent, there is still a lot of work to do. But it’s great for ourselves to get another young player to commit his future to here, so I’m delighted.”

Rodgers also praised James Maddison after his England call-up for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

“James is a very, very talented player,” he added. “He has a wonderful personality. He plays with a nice arrogance on the field but outside of the field he is a very humble boy.

“He understands what it’s like to do the dirty work, he hasn’t played in the Premier League all his life. I’ve been so impressed by him since I have come in.”

Rodgers is waiting on Wes Morgan’s fitness after he came off against Newcastle with a back problem but Ben Chilwell (hip) and Wilfred Ndidi (hamstring) are fit.

PA Media

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