The five key quotes from Brendan Rodgers' post-Stoke City press
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers looks on during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at the bet365 Stadium, Stoke. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Leicester City steered their way through to the Emirates FA Cup fourth round after dispatching helpless Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium, thanks to goals from James Justin, Marc Albrighton, Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes.

As Leicester snatched a well-deserved victory, manager Brendan Rodgers made his thoughts known to LCFC TV after the 4-0 win over the Championship side.

The Foxes are now unbeaten in five matches across all competitions, with three wins and two draws.

  • On his sides’ performance

On the back of last Sunday’s much needed victory at St. James’ Park, Leicester City looked to maintain momentum and that is exactly what the Foxes did.

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He praised his side’s showing in attack and defense, saying: “We defended well, showed our quality and once we got the first goal we could start playing. Some of our play was very good. Stoke had a very experienced team with good quality. You see Stoke’s results, Michael’s (O’Neill) got them very well organised, they don’t concede many.

So, I thought our game today was at a really good level. I think all round it was an excellent performance.

  • On the team selection

Rodgers decided to play a strong eleven, although the injured James Maddison and Jamie Vardy were amiss. With next weekend’s Premier League clash against Southampton in mind, the boss said he wanted to maintain tempo among the first team players.

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Rodgers said: “We don’t play for a week now, so if the players miss out today, they miss out for two weeks. I wanted to pick the best team I could. The two boys were unavailable through injury, but every player tonight performed well. You need luck along the way but also your best players to get through.”

  • On Justin James' performance

The Foxes failed to establish footing in the early stages of first half, but eventually gained an opening after defender James Justin curled in a wonder goal after cutting in from the left, dribbling past two Stoke players.

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Speaking highly of the youngster, Rodgers said: “Gareth (Southgate) will have his eyes on all the U-21 boys. JJ is getting better with every game. He’s a fantastic talent, at 22 years old he’s developing very well.

It was very good, JJ’s finish was outstanding and you can see the level of confidence he has right now,” Rodgers said on Justin’s goal.

  • On his full-back options

Timothy Castagne and Justin James have shown remarkable levels of skill and presence of mind this season. The manager seemed extremely pleased with their work ethics and spoke highly of their capabilities.

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He said: “Just looking at both full-backs in terms of their strength, I think what we’ve done with JJ is he’s played from the left and the right. I’ve played him off the right to do a specific job on Son, Rashford and these types of players that play in that little role that you’ve got to be a good defender to play in."  

Today, I just switched them over, because JJ’s comfortable on the left, but I think we get more running ability out of Tim on the right-hand side as he doesn’t get a chance to that on the left with Harvey. I thought both full-backs were outstanding."

  • On Dennis Praet’s hamstring pull

Midfielder Dennis Praet was unlucky to strain his hamstring in the dying minutes of the game, eventually being replaced by Nampalys Mendy. The number 26 was influential in dictating play in the midfield alongside fellow Belgian Youri Tielemans in the second half.

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Rodgers said: “We wanted to get Dennis 90 minutes today but it looks like a hamstring which is a shame for him.