Rodgers backs player power because it shows they care
The new manager is content he can handle Leicester’s dressing room.
New manager Brendan Rodgers has welcomed Leicester’s player power because he believes it shows they care.
The 46-year-old feels he can handle a strong dressing room after joining the Foxes from Celtic this week.
Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel have both been accused of wielding too much power at the Foxes and helping to drum out Claudio Ranieri two years ago and Claude Puel this week.
Schmeichel’s father, Peter, even went on television last month, saying his son wanted to leave and Leicester would do better without Puel.
But Rodgers insisted he has no issue with strong characters as it demonstrates their passion.
“I will very much lead them,” he said, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Watford.
“I am finding, and I have heard this a number of times with players, but what you tend to find with these players is they are the players that actually really care about doing well.
“When something is not quite right they will have an opinion. What I find from the outside looking in and then coming into this, I am so happy to have that type of player here because they are ambitious.
“They want it to work well. As long as you give them the purpose and you are clear on how you want to work then they will thrive on that.
“The changing room is nice when you come in for the first few days, it is always good, but I have no issue with that.
“You want that leadership and the characters. Of course, if it oversteps the mark then you deal with it but I don’t think that will be the case.
“I have a group of hungry young players, a group of senior players who have had a few years of the title win and everything that goes around it.
“Now I think they appreciate it’s a case of right, let’s stabilise, get focused and go again.”
A number of players, including Schmeichel, came in on their day off on Wednesday to speak to Rodgers after an informal invite following his Tuesday appointment.
He said: “I had a nice meeting when I was here on the Tuesday night and then the Wednesday when they had the free day I asked all the players if they wanted to talk I was at the training ground all day.
“He was one of the players that came in. It was brilliant. We had a really good chat. I think I find him a really good guy.”
Rodgers, who signed a deal until 2022, is also mindful of keeping his best players with Harry Maguire likely to attract interest from bigger clubs in the summer.
He added: “They may well do but it doesn’t worry me. I think all you can worry is that you make the team the very best they can be. You always have to be prepared for that moment as a club. It happens.
“But at this moment in time, I’m thinking about the team, and making the best that we can.”