‘I know the heat is on’: Under-fire Brendan Rodgers relishing derby battle

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is embracing the pressure. (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire)
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is embracing the pressure. (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire)

Defiant Brendan Rodgers is ready to embrace the derby heat to dig Leicester City out of trouble.

The Foxes are rock bottom of the Premier League and winless in the top flight this season.

It has increased the pressure on Rodgers ahead of Monday’s crucial derby visit of fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest.

The former Celtic manager is aware of the growing anxiety at the King Power Stadium but relishes the challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to it because I know the heat is on. Everyone is looking at us and that’s what you want, you want to go and perform,” he said.

“Experience helps you, that’s for sure. I also know it’s only a matter of time, this team will be fine.

“Just staying calm, work how we work and you’ve just got to have that level of aggression, make sure that’s there and that will allow us to play our football then. When we do that we’ll be a good team again.”

Rodgers has also backed Danny Ward following the goalkeeper’s rocky start after he replaced Kasper Schmeichel.

The 29-year-old has conceded 22 goals in his opening seven games since Schmeichel’s summer move to Nice, including 11 in his last two outings – capped with the 6-2 defeat at Tottenham.

“The one thing that’s needed is time. You can’t take away the great servant that Kasper was, and the great influence and personality that he was here,” he said.

“With Danny coming in, he then has to bring his own personality to the team and that does take a little bit of time and cohesion.

“It’s been a really challenging start for him but you have to show faith. It’s been a tough start for him but this is part of what goalkeeping is about.

“You judge goalkeepers not just on the saves they make but how they react to mistakes. We need to support him and look to get him through if we believe in him. I believe he’s a really good keeper and hopefully over time he can show that.”