Leicester licked Champions League wounds with hotel summit after Man Utd loss

Brendan Rodgers reckons Leicester can go the distance this season after revealing how a hotel summit rallied his side following last term’s collapse.

The Foxes’ 2-0 defeat at home on the final day of last season to Manchester United saw Rodgers’ men miss out on Champions League qualification.

United overhauled Leicester as City finished with one win in their last five Premier League games.

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Rodgers revealed he then whisked his squad off to the Grove hotel to address the “elephant in the room” ahead of the new campaign.

He believes the approach has paid off with Leicester once again sitting second at Christmas ahead of United’s return to the King Power on Boxing Day.

Leicester have bounced back strongly this season after a disappointing end to last term

Rodgers said: “We went away to the Grove for a few days team building and a bit of golf.

“It was relaxed but focused.

“We trained there.

“We did some serious work and some relaxation.

“But the aim really of it all over the course of the couple of days was the elephant in the room about how it finished.

“I am always one to address that straight away and don’t let it linger or become a burden.

“Let’s deal with it and how we can become better.

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“What did we actually achieve in the last season, which was very good.

“Obviously straight after the end of the season you don’t qualify for the Champions League and people may want to tell you you failed.

“But it was important to reinforce from where we started, to where we finished, was success and we were in a process.

“It was reinforcing that and understanding and resetting our ambitions for this year and how can we develop and improve.

“It was part of the root plan for this season to understand what the challenges are and reinforcing how well the players had done.

Ben Chilwell was sold for £50m but the cash has been reinvested wisely
Ben Chilwell was sold for £50m but the cash has been reinvested wisely

“Then you map out how we can go forward.

“It was done in a workshop basis and the feedback of the players was very honest.

“I love hearing players and what their feelings are and what they say and that can then become our aim going forward.

“It was getting their feedback, getting their feeling and us all coming together to set a path coming forward.”

Leicester’s season hit the rocks last term amid injuries to key men like James Maddison.

But this term the squad have continued to get results in a hectic fixture list despite suffering even more injuries.

Rodgers, whose side are also into the Europa League last 32, added: “They understand I don’t like to give them too much praise because it is not the punches in the stomach that knock you over, it is the pats on the back.

Last term’s golden boot winner Jamie Vardy is also back among the goals this term

“This Christmas, compared to last Christmas, it’s a different feeling – there’s a feeling of maturity and development.

“The team is growing the longer we are together.

“Last season we showed lots of great moments and moments of big potential.

“What we needed to increase our level was time and consistency.

“With consistency comes maturity, with time comes the maturity.

“But ultimately it’s where you’re going to finish at the end that counts.”

Where will Leicester finish in the table this season? Have your say below.

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