Brendan Rodgers has stressed Leicester’s determination to “climb the mountain” again this season.
The club’s 2020-21 Premier League campaign saw them finish fifth for a second successive year after dropping out of the top four late on.
They also won the FA Cup for the first time in their history, beating Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley, and take on Manchester City at the stadium in the Community Shield on Saturday.
When asked ahead of the match about narrowly missing out on Champions League football, Leicester boss Rodgers said: “Of course over the course of the summer there is that disappointment. For 48 hours or so afterwards, there’s no doubt.
“I think if you’d have seen me walk around the pitch after the last game of the season (a 4-2 home loss to Tottenham), it was that numbing feeling.
“But after a few days, and you go away and reflect on the course of the season, you recognise what a great job the players have done. It’s just been unfortunate, towards the end of the season we’ve been stripped of players that really can make a difference for us.
“At the same time, the players available fought right until the very end, and that allowed us to get a trophy, but just unfortunately we couldn’t make it into that top four.
“But we’ll fight again this season. The challenge will be equally tough if not tougher, but that’s what we want, that challenge, and we’ll embrace it and look forward.”
Rodgers, appointed at Leicester in February 2019, added: “I think my players have emphatically overachieved. The position that we are in in terms of budget and everything else, these players have done amazing.
“To go and create history last season and for the first time win the FA Cup – that was a fantastic season for us.
“For us, like all the clubs chasing the top teams in this division, we have to fight, we have to continue to climb the mountain.
“Can we arrive into a European position and can we challenge for trophies? That is our focus, and it’s proving the point each year and pushing in order to develop and improve.
“My job was always, I felt, to build this base camp around the top end of this league. Every season starts, you’ve got to prove you can climb the mountain again, you’ve got to go and prove yourself, and that’s something we aim to do again this year.”
Ahead of the contest, Leicester’s opponents have signed Jack Grealish for a reported £100million, and City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed the club’s interest in Harry Kane.
Asked where £100m deals sat with him given the current climate in terms of the coronavirus pandemic’s financial impact, Rodgers said: “Football’s a business and if clubs have the money to do that, then of course they will spend it. We’re not in that position, but that doesn’t mean other teams can’t be.
“It’s obviously been a difficult couple of years for everyone, but hopefully now we’re coming out of it and we have to then look to the future, and if teams can do that and run their business accordingly, then that’s the business side of it.”
Rodgers, who could give run-outs to summer signings Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare and Ryan Bertrand on Saturday and is without Wesley Fofana, Jonny Evans and Timothy Castagne due to injury, was also asked if there was any update with regard to contract talks with Youri Tielemans, scorer of Leicester’s FA Cup final winner.
He said: “Not really. I know the club have spoken to his representatives, I know he’s very happy here. But there’s no further update on anything as of yet.”
Of Saturday’s match, Rodgers said: “I think it’s a fantastic game for us, we’re glad we’re there. It’s a wonderful occasion – Wembley, full house, and with the chance to hold something at the end of it.”