Brendan Rodgers insists he will not be using Leicester’s mounting injuries as an excuse and has backed the players he has at his disposal in their bid to finish in the Premier League top four this season.
Harvey Barnes is set to undergo a knee operation that will keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks, while Jonny Evans, Ayoze Perez, Dennis Praet, James Maddison, James Justin and Wes Morgan are other absentees.
The Foxes came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at Burnley, where Kelechi Iheanacho’s brilliant volley cancelled out Matej Vydra’s opener, while Kasper Schmeichel made a couple of important saves to ensure a share of the spoils.
Leicester remain third in the standings and although Rodgers would not be drawn on their hopes of finishing in the Champions League positions, the Northern Irishman has faith in his fit players to keep battling.
“People talk about the top four but I’ve always said we’re not in the top four until the season’s finished,” he said. “Until that point we just have to keep working every day, being the best we can be and go into the next game.
“Everyone’s talking about the injury list but we have to deal with that, that’s unfortunate for us, but what I have here is a brilliant group of players that’s going to keep pushing, keep fighting and let’s see where it takes us.”
Hamza Choudhury made just his fourth league start of the season at Turf Moor but he had a forgettable start as his return pass to Wilfred Ndidi played the makeshift centre-half into trouble, allowing Vydra to intercept and score.
Rodgers was encouraged by the rest of Choudhury’s performance, though, with the 23-year-old midfielder coming close to equalising before Iheanacho did, superbly volleying home from Ndidi’s ball over the top after the half hour.
“Sometimes we’ll make mistakes but it’s OK as long as we learn from it,” Rodgers added.
“I encourage him to take the ball more, he’s a defensive-minded player but to play in the midfield in this team, you need to take the ball.
“But I thought his reaction was really good after that, he made tackles, took the ball, he passed it and he was unfortunate he didn’t score.”
Vydra’s fourth-minute goal – a confident finish in which he lashed the ball beyond Schmeichel and into the top corner after going past Ndidi – was his first in the top flight since February 22 last year.
“I have waited so long again for a goal in the Premier League and I’m so happy because it was against a very good side,” the Czech striker said on Burnley’s official website.
“It was after four minutes so it helped us a lot. Then we conceded, but in the second half we showed the quality up front and we had a couple of very good chances to score but Schmeichel made some very good saves.
“We have to take this performance into the next games. We have to go step by step and re-focus for the next one and hopefully we will get another point or three.”