Leicester City coach, Brendan Rodgers, blames himself for the early Europa League exit after losing 2-0 at home against Slavia Prague.
Their first meeting in Prague ended in a 0-0 draw, but Abdallah Sima and Lukas Provod scored at the King Power Stadium on Thursday night to move Slavia Prague into last the round of 16.
Rodgers made several changes to his team, which resulted in a win against Aston Villa in the Premier League. He dropped Timothy Castagne, Harvey Barnes and Ricardo Pereira to the bench, deploying Youri Tielemans to advanced positions.
The manager confessed that his strategy backfired:
“It’s my responsibility. I pick the team to try to get the result and that clearly didn’t work as well as I would have liked,” Rodgers said.
“We’ve changed the team often because we’ve carried injuries all year … we had to find a way to freshen up the team. I would still expect us to do better but when you’re missing the players we are, that’s going to affect the quality of your game.
“There are no excuses …It wasn’t to be. The best team won.”
Brendan Rodgers further insisted that his players would now put more focus on the FA Cup and the English Premier League.
“If we had to prioritise, those would be the two we would want to succeed in,” he said. “The Europa League was one we wanted to do well in, it wasn’t to be, but now we can go all-in in the league and FA Cup.”
The English clubs that are through to the last round of 16 in the Europa League are Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham.
The foxes are in the third position in the Premier League with 49 points. They will face Arsenal this weekend, and a win will see them move past Man Utd if United loses against Chelsea.