Brendan Rodgers takes blame for Leicester's Europa League exit to Slavia Prague

Leicester knocked out of Europa League at last-32 stage by Slavia Prague; Brendan Rodgers after the 2-0 defeat: "It's my responsibility, I pick the team with the players we have available and clearly it didn't work as well as I would have liked."

Brendan Rodgers
Image: Brendan Rodgers takes the blame for Leicester's European exit

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers took the blame for the Foxes' meek Europa League exit to Slavia Prague.

Rodgers, who was missing the injured James Maddison and banned Kelechi Iheanacho, started with 13-goal Harvey Barnes on the bench with Youri Tielemans in a more advanced position but admitted his decisions failed to pay off.

"It's my responsibility, I pick the team with the players we have available and clearly it didn't work as well as I would have liked," he said.

"We have changed the team often enough through the season because we've carried injuries all year. The players are coming back from injury, we had to find a way to freshen up the team.

"Overall, they were better than us and deserved to go through. We have to go away and learn from that.

"We started pretty well, we had to be patient, but we never really created too many opportunities. I'm disappointed with the goals, in particular the second one - we have to defend with greater urgency.

"It's disappointing but I said to the players afterwards we have to learn from it. We can accept it a lot easier as we weren't good enough on the night and over the two legs.

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"We'll get back in, move on and we've enjoyed the European experience and we want to fight this year and be better next year."

Leicester City v Slavia Praha - UEFA Europa League - Round of 32 - Second Leg - King Power Stadium
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy reacts after Slavia Praha's Abdallah Sima (not pictured) scores their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Thursday February 25, 2021.
Image: Jamie Vardy at full-time after Leicester's exit

Analysis: Leicester must not let exit define season

Sky Sports Oli Yew:

It was a disastrous night for Leicester against Slavia Prague.

Despite choosing to rotate his squad, Brendan Rodgers would have had high hopes of finally ending his hoodoo of failing to reach the last 16 of the Europa League.

However, those hopes soon disintegrated in front of his very eyes as the Czech side booked their place in Friday's last-16 draw.

There will be no getting away from this disappointment. It will take a few days for it to sink in for Rodgers and his players, but they still have plenty of objectives to reach this season.

It was around this time last season when the wheels started to come off their bid for Champions League football and they ultimately finished fifth.

With Rodgers in charge, the club are on an upward curve. They remain third in the Premier League and also face an FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United next month.

There's plenty still to play for and now must ensure this blow does not cause lasting damage, starting against Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

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