Saturday 16 November 2019

Rodgers reveals small adjustments to Leicester tactics are benefitting Vardy

Brendan Rodgers believes a change in the way Jamie Vardy presses for Leicester has contributed to his recent excellent goal return.

Jamie Vardy became the first player to reach 10 Premier League goals this season (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Jamie Vardy became the first player to reach 10 Premier League goals this season (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By George Sessions, PA

Premier League top-scorer Jamie Vardy is benefiting from “little adjustments” according to Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.

The former England striker netted his 10th goal of the Premier League season during Sunday’s 2-0 win away to Crystal Palace.

It sent Leicester back up to third with Vardy, 32, leading the way for goals in the top flight after 11 games.

Rodgers revealed: “Firstly from a defensive perspective he is not having to press the whole back four.

“He is a guy who will run all day for you. Now it is a lot more synchronised in how we want him to press and he is doing short bursts of pressing, which he is very good at.

“He is so clever at setting traps to press so he is a real focal point in that aspect.

“Then he is playing more on the corridor and central. The other guys, it is their job to create opportunities for him and others. And then actually asking him to stay on the last line.

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Leicester returned to third with victory (John Walton/PA)

“He is a really top striker at this level and we have done some little adjustments which have helped him, but he is playing with a smile and really enjoying his football and that is always important as a player.”

Vardy had the last laugh over Palace’s supporters after they had mocked his wife Rebekah at the start of the second half at Selhurst Park.

It took him until the 88th minute to silence them, but the Foxes hitman enjoyed finding the net in front of the Holmesdale Road Stand.

“Jamie is so thick skinned and is just one of those boys, that makes him better. He knows he taken a wee bit of stick over a couple of games, but he is very concentrated on his game and very focused in the game,” Rodgers added.

He is a really top striker at this level and we have done some little adjustments which have helped him Brendan Rodgers on Jamie Vardy

“He along with the others collectively are playing very well and feeding off the spirit and quality they have.”

Before the weekend’s action got underway, Leicester and Palace were both in the top six, but the Eagles are down to ninth now, although still ahead of Manchester United.

While the Foxes will be hopeful of remaining in the top four, Roy Hodgson is realistic about the chances of his men staying in and around that position.

He does feel, however, that Leicester have been building to this point for a while and pointed out the key difference between the teams.

“What they carry, what we could be accused of not carrying, is a very clear goal threat,” Hodgson said.

“We have to work very hard for our chances and hope that whoever gets them will convert them, where as they’ve got that constant goal threat, which to be fair they’ve always had with Jamie Vardy.

“The service he’s getting now and the ability of their midfield to keep the ball and ask questions of the opposition is elevating them. They are in the top four on merit because that’s how well they’re playing and that’s how good their squad is.”

PA Media

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