Rodgers excited by Leicester potential despite late loss

Leicester City slipped to defeat in Brendan Rodgers' first game in charge, but the Northern Irishman remains positive.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers admitted there were lessons to be learned from his team's 2-1 loss against Watford.   -  Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers is excited by Leicester City's potential despite its last-gasp 2-1 Premier League defeat to Watford on Sunday.

Andre Gray came off the bench to earn the Hornets victory in the 92nd minute in Rodgers' first game in charge of the Foxes following his arrival from Celtic earlier in the week. Jamie Vardy's equaliser looked set to be enough to earn the visitors a draw at Vicarage Road, the striker cancelling out an early header by Troy Deeney 15 minutes from time.

But, after a poor clearance by Kasper Schmeichel, Deeney lifted the ball into the path of Gray and the substitute beat the Leicester goalkeeper in stoppage time.

WATCH | Gray's late winner spoils Rodgers' Leicester debut

While admitting his side needs to learn lessons from the nature of its defeat, Rodgers remains upbeat about what it can achieve.

"I have a good idea from training with them and watching them what I think we need to do in the summer, but for me it is a case of coming in and working with the players we have," he told a media conference.

"I have a fantastic group of players who are very keen, have a great spirit and they really want to learn. I said to them despite the result they have had a really good week of training and they have taken on board what items we spoke about. We know we need to improve and there are lots of areas we need to get better in, but there is plenty of potential there.

"There is growth there and we have another week's work and then look forward to our first home game [against Fulham]."

Watford striker Andre Gray celebrates his late winner against Leicester.   -  Getty Images

 

Watford manager Javi Gracia, meanwhile, praised Gray for his match-winning impact from the bench.

The 27-year-old has not started a Premier League game since the 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth on October 6 and Gracia is delighted to have such strength on the sidelines to call upon.

"We know he is always ready," the Spaniard said. "I know all my players deserve more time, but it is not easy to choose 11. What is more important for me is I know the players I choose are always ready."

Watford has won three of its last four Premier League games and sits eighth in the Premier League. Gracia is refusing to be complacent, however, and believes his players want to achieve even more this campaign.

"We are enjoying the season," he added. "It is an important amount of points for us, but I can feel the players want more and more. Who knows what can happen in the future?"

  Dugout videos