Chelsea F.C., Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Burnley F.C., Leicester City F.C., Liverpool F.C., Thomas Tuchel, Manchester United F.C., UEFA Champions League, Leeds United – Brendan Rodgers – Pre-Match Press Conference

Uh we’ll do the dailies after that and we’ll start with in folsom from scottsdale hello brendan. How are things with you yeah? Very good. Thank you. Thank you. Good um jamie vardy’s posted a photo of himself and um rebecca on social media, saying recovering well um. Of course you had surgery last weekend always interested in getting your take on things. Um. Look. How pleased are you with the way things have gone and and how’s it looking going forward, yeah well jimmy’s he’s, what six days post operation so um he hadn’t been sore initially after the operation. I was seeing him afterwards after tuning in today, so he’s he’s working very well with good mobility, starting to run so he’s yeah, he’s, progressing really really well so so we’re on schedule and that schedule would include him what training next week. Is that still the plan? Well, we’ll see yeah. We were looking at, hopefully to get um uh up for of us towards 10 days, so yeah he’s on course for that okay, that’s, very positive uh. How are things with wilfred and dede? Of course, he he came off uh against everton in in midweek. You said he he was feeling his hamstring what’s, the what’s, the news on that front: yeah he’s uh, just a slow tear Music, so thankfully it’s, probably and johnny evans had some blurred vision. How are things with him? Yeah now johnny’s johnny’s fine he’s been an ongoing issue with him for for a little while, but he will be fine.

Okay, that’s good everybody else: okay, yeah yeah, all good. Okay, listen! What does um the problem with wilfred indeedy mean in terms of um, possibly allowing hamza chowdhury to depart steve bruce at newcastle today has said that he does like him. Yeah yeah i’ve spoken to steve on on amazon, so uh so yeah. I think for for me. It’S it’s a case of we’ve always felt that we we needed another, more attacking preparing, so um, so yeah so that’s, something that if we can do that, then that may well give the possibility for amsa to go out um. Otherwise, we we, you know, we can’t, afford to lose anyone, we can’t get anyone in and how far down the road are you in terms of getting someone in well there’s been discussions um, but of course, it’s it’ll be a big weekend to see. If we can do that and before monday now so um, but yeah we’ll see how it goes over the weekend. Are you optimistic um? It is what it is. You know we want to get the player in if we can get it great. If not, we would go with the squad that we have and just update us with damari gray via leverkusen saying they are confident um. Is that something that you are thinking is going to happen or are there still other options available? Well, i spoke to john this morning our director of football, and i know there’s.

You know there’s not a lot really to add to that there’s been negotiations but uh, but nothing more than that at the moment. Do you get the sense that things are a long way apart with bayern or are they coming together? I think i just said to you. I just said to you that uh i can give you no more than there’s been negotiations. I don’t, you know i’m, not involved in that side of it, so uh. So how far or close i i haven’t got a clue to be honest: okay, look uh, you’re unbeaten in seven in the premier league. You won four of those um a couple of fa cup wins in that run as well, but without jamie vardy. How big a test is this for your squad, the same test as we’ve had all season when we’ve had players missing, you know we’ve uh. Jimmy is a top top class player, so it was wealth, but we’ve managed to get really good results consistently over the course of the season. So you just have to uh as a coach or manager. You have to find the way uh to get the result and uh and and obviously very important for us is the performance level so uh. So in midweek we we perform very well and we look to take that performance level into our next game and he’s. What happened in midweek an example of you know your ability to do things without jamie vardy.

Well, i think, as i said, if you shine a light on over the course of the season we we’ve had games, where we have important players for us that have been missing consistently. It’S only really been probably up until the last week or so we’ve uh haven’t had that but um but yeah we, you know, we trust the squad we um. Of course, you missed someone of jamie’s uh ability and the strengths that he has, which would, of course, which would help any team in particular ourselves. But, as i said, i thought i o did very well. During the week uh we’ve got kells there. In the backdrop as well, who can come into the game and and like i say, it’s a collective effort for us to uh to put in the the level of performance that can seize win games? Leeds came up with west brom and fulham um. The other two have found life in the premier league, difficult um. You know at the halfway stage leads have twice the number of points that that fulham have got what set leads apart from those other two, do you think? Well, i think you’ll see at the end of the season, because i think fulham of uh fulham have done very well of late. Once scott’s been able to get the players in that he he needed to get in and then mold them all together and find a way of working with them.

I think they’ve they’ve done very well sam’s, just going in at west brom, so it takes that little bit of time um to to have that influence on on the team, but there’s not too many in the current situation that they’re in the you have anyone better Than sam that can go in and galvanize them, so you you’ll see where they are at the end of the season. Uh in terms of leads they’ve been they’ve been outstanding. You know, i’m, a huge admirer of the of the coach uh. The team have played uh very clearly the way they want to play in every game. They want to attack the game, they have good mobility uh, they want to create goals, they want to score goals and they play without any fear. So so that has got them. Some really positive results: it’s got them some results where they’ve they’ve lost heavily, but either way they’ve been a fantastic team and uh they’ve been a real credit to to the club brendan. Thank you wish you. Well good luck. Thank you. Thank you. Okay let’s! Go to nas from plp, please hi, brandon, uk, okay, um brandon! How much are you seeing your fairly young squad mature this season because it’s a fantastic run and some of those young players are really coming into their own and we’re? Seeing mature performances week in week out aren’t, we yeah, i think it’s it’s what you expect the team’s evolving and gaining experience all the time and it’s not always through the winning.

You know: we’ve uh. After the everton game, we lost it’s important that you go away. You you look at that. Failure in the game learn from it and then you look to then win consistently and as a great credit to the players that they have, that that open mindedness to in order to learn and develop and be better. You know the the beauty of the squad is that they have no ego, so they want to work hard, they want to learn and they want to improve, and i think you can see that in the the level of the performance and and like i say their Authority in the game is getting better all the time ian mentioned jamie being out, but i wanted to talk about you mentioned iozzi. I thought the other night he put in a real shift and did all the things that strikers have to do, but those those sort of ugly things that strikers do that. Go unnoticed didn’t he yeah he was. He was very good in the game. I think in big games like that, you know that there’s not going to ever be too many chances and that which there wasn’t for for either side and then you’re just waiting for a moment and unfortunately, for io that moment, didn’t quite fall for him. Oh yeah, i always ask, is the is for everyone, the team, to give their all and uh intensity in the game, and some of his football was very, very good.

He just never had any chances dropped to him so uh but yeah. I thought he did really well in the game. Um. Obviously the the calculator’s been out you’ve spent every week in the top six of the division and you’ve got a real foothold in the top. Four people talk about inconsistencies. Your team is riding the schedule and riding that roller coaster very well, aren’t they at the moment. Well, we just tried to adapt that was um. It was difficult for us last march, whenever uh covert kicked in and we came back, we had interruptions with players being out injured, hopefully what we’ve learned and what i’ve learned is how we can cope with that better and find ways to do that which we’ve tried To show this season so uh, so yeah, it’s, um, it’s, a credit to to the the staff and the players up until this point, we’ve been able to to cope with various uh interruptions that we’ve had and we’ve just tried to see the positive in it and Uh and take that positivity into every game, you’ve mentioned already the the the last few days of the window. If there isn’t sort of any movement in you, i’m presuming you’re quite happy with the squad. You’Ve got if it is, as is uh come tuesday wednesday. Next week, yeah, i think our notion is always to improve now that’s, something that has to be constant. You have to constantly look to improve, but if you can’t do it, you know, i know the club have given me incredible support since i’ve been in here.

So if we can’t do it it’ll be because of availability. I’Ve said before that, economically it’s, tough for for clubs but um, but we’ve always found our way here, but i just think it purely will be down to to availability, obviously dennis being injured was it was a blow for us, so it took away that extra attacking Player and of course, that leaves a gap for us and we would like to do. My first look is is within our youth uh and we don’t have anyone there at the moment yet to to step in and uh for us, and so you then have to look to the the loan market or to buy someone. But if that player’s not available, then you you can’t, do it i’m, going to probably dig dig a hole for myself here but lead score and concede plenty of goals? Your team scores plenty of goals, we’re guaranteed a a thriller aren’t. We, when, when you your sides, meet well, i think both teams will go into the game with that with a positive attitude, both teams want to create goals and score goals, and, but fundamentally for us, we know that in order to attack well, we have to defend Well and when you play against the teammate leeds, you know that you’re gon na have to have no ego in the game. You’Re gon na have to run you’re gon na, have to defend well and take the opportunities when they come so let’s hope, it’s, that’s, always a good game.

Thank you brendan best of luck for the weekend. Thanks. Thank you. Thank you. Ian stringer, please, please uh hi brendan afternoon again, um just clarification uh, because i had a few technical problems at the top of the press conference. Uh jamie vardy is not available for the weekend and will not be in the squad. Is that correct, that’s? Absolutely correct? Um, have you in there mark’s game now that, as you saw, i think you said uh forgive me was struggling today. I think he said he was six days post op. Has that allowed your medical staff now to to earmark a game not as of yet we’re? Just you know looking closely at his rehabilitation from it. Like i said, he’s he’s progressed really well over these last few days, jamie so uh. So no wait. We haven’t heard about the game yet, but he’s progressing really well in and we’ll look more closer into that. Next week, different striker, ioz perez or different front man isn’t, he certainly jamie vader. You mentioned it after everton, of course, there’s, not many strikers in europe like jamie vardy. How did the rest of your team have to adapt to that fact to the fact that your your talismanic front, man’s, not there, ioz perez, plays in a different way? How does everybody else have to change and adapt to that? Well, thankfully, i’ve got really bright players really creative players. You know our idea is obviously penetrate we’re, always looking to get them behind teams and, of course, when you have jamie central, then we uh we clearly can do that, but uh, but it’s, something where io brings something else.

You know his strength is, is playing in the space which he’s incredible at you know, looks at him and james madison when, when you have those gaps and you can find them in the team, they can get turn and they take you forward in a different way. So you may just have to connect the game with an extra pass or two in order to penetrate central, but we still have real speed and quality on the sides. But the change is that you may, instead of maybe getting up there and in one pass, you may have to connect it with two or three passes before you can arrive in behind centrally. He seems to have knuckled down a lot brenda niosi perez i’m sure he missed a few squads, let alone starting elevens and and clearly you had your reasons for that, but he seems to have come back with with renewed energy and opportunity and really seems to have To have taken it in a positive way and refocused. Is that fair comment? Do you think yeah yeah, i just think it’s uh he’s he’s, a terrific player for us uh it’s been unfortunate for him um this season, where he maybe hasn’t been able to influence. As many games as he would have liked, but it tells you everything about his attitude. You know you see him in the game, the other night, the work rate, the intensity put into the game and uh. He was just unfortunate.

The ball never dropped for him uh. In those big games where it’s tight, you’re just waiting for something to drop or have created for you and that didn’t quite happen, but he he was part of a a really good performance and uh yeah he’ll gain confidence from that and i’ve got no. No doubt that if opportunities arrive for him that he he’s got real composure on his finish so uh but yeah it’s, a real testament to to his professionalism and his concentration and uh and his spirit that he kept fighting, kept, walking and and you’ll take these opportunities. I’M sure you’ve discussed the transfer window brendan and i think you’ve made it quite clear what the situation is regarding trying to bring players in and where you are. I wonder what this window’s like to operate within is the january windows. I know aren’t particularly favorable to buying clubs at the best of times amidst covid amid snow fans what’s the window like do you think? Well, i think, in terms of where we’re at in the world, with the pandemic and the financial situation, i think it’s a tough window for for virtually every team um as a manager. You don’t want to lose players because you, you can’t uh, especially if you can’t get players in so you’re. Obviously having to look at your your squad closely and and the likes of ourselves. We’Ve had a really good uh first part of the season, and we aim to continue with that over the second part, and you know in particular, you need a really strong squad.

So if you can’t get players in you’re, obviously reluctant to let any go out because you uh with the games coming so thick and fast, you need to be sure that you have the players available. What’S it like preparing to face leads brendan because we saw her in the overweight game. Their start was it was. It was interesting to watch, but it was. It was overly keen, and we know that they’ve really got one way of playing it’s an incredible intensity, pressing hard, pressing quickly, what’s it like to plan to play them it’s, really enjoyable, i really enjoy. You know i looked to the the first game when we played them, they were coming off the back of some great results: um marcelo’s teams, i’ve i’ve, obviously followed over this last decade or so, and they always play an exciting brand of football so and and and The style is something that you don’t see uh, virtually at all in the premier league, where it’s, you know at least up to eight players, man to man, american, so um, so that in itself is great from a coaching perspective, just to look at them and uh. Now, i’m, obviously, a big admirer of michelle, obscure and uh and, of course, the the job that he’s done there and and how the team have come up played with no fear they play uh in a really respectful way. I think if you watch them they, you know the argument referees so much the uh, the great integrity in the game and, like i said they want to create goals and score goals, so uh so yeah.

I i i’ve enjoyed watching them and preparing to play against them and of course, we had a very, very good victory, but we know we’re going to have to work and play equally as hard and well uh to gain another win. Finally, from me brendan – and i appreciate you agreeing before the press conference to discuss this with us – the celtic chief executive has retired after 17 years today, peter lowell. I wonder whether you’ve got a comment on him, a message in in him stepping down and ultimately what he did for the football club yeah. I think peter. I was obviously aware when i was there of what the long term plan would be, and i knew at some point over the the the next few years that that would be the case. I think you only need to look at how uh celtic is run as a business and uh. You look at the figures behind that to see the uh the great job that peter has done there um he’s a huge celtic supporter himself. You know he loves the club he’s, a real passion for celtic uh, so it’ll be a sad day for him in in the in the day that he does eventually retire, but he’ll always be a celtic supporter. He’S he’s done a fantastic job from the business side. Uh, giving great stability there to the the club and uh and you look at the bank balance and and, as i said, the uh the run extremely well so um, so yeah it’s a long time to be chief executive at one club.

But he’s he’s done a fantastic job and and of course it will be uh he’ll step aside and there’ll, be someone else to come in and uh and and take on the mantra appreciate your time. Good luck at the weekend against leeds brendan thanks ian! Thank you. Okay thanks, everybody we’ll draw a broadcast section there and we’ll move on to the daily. Thank you for our broadcast colleagues.

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