Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed his plan of introducing Wilfred Ndidi for a few minutes against Arsenal backfired since his team were chasing the game.
Gabriel and Emile Smith Rowe’s strikes in the first half handed the Gunners a 2-0 Premier League win over their hosts at King Power Stadium in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Later on, the tactician explained why the Nigeria international, who has been out for several weeks, was not involved despite being included in the squad. Editors’ Picks
“He has just trained this week. He was to come on [in the last] fifteen to twenty minutes maximum, that was our plan [on Saturday],” Rodgers told the media as quoted by All Nigeria Soccer.
“But obviously we were chasing the game so there wasn’t that need to put him on. [But] it’s great to have him back and available and we’ll see how his fitness looks over the coming days.”
The former Liverpool coach went on to explain why his team lost the match against the North Londoners.
“A poor start cost us, it’s a lack of concentration and then you’re chasing the game against a good side,” Rodgers told Leicester’s website.
“We have been able to do it in a few games recently where we’ve not had a great start and come back, but you can’t give teams a 2-0 start, especially a good team like Arsenal.
“We were too passive, so it is a concern. When you have players finding the level and the constant mentality, if you don’t start the game well, then it can cost you and today it cost us. In the second half, we can’t have any complaints. I thought we were excellent.
“We had to make changes to shift the dynamic of the game, but we got punished for that opening 20 minutes. Both [Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman] were excellent. They gave us that pressure higher up the pitch. We could condense the game up there and we were much better.”
After the loss, Leicester are now placed 10th with 14 points while Arsenal climbed to sixth with 17 points.