Ndidi speaks from Austria : Leicester missing out on UCL, Brendan Rodgers, Iheanacho’s form :: All Nigeria Soccer
Ndidi speaks from Austria : Leicester missing out on UCL, Brendan Rodgers, Iheanacho’s form
Wilfred Ndidi enjoyed another fine campaign with Leicester City, helping the Foxes win the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in their history.
Though Leicester City missed out on the top four and a Champions League spot, the King Power Stadium outfit proved they are no one-season wonder by finishing fifth for the second consecutive campaign.
Speaking to Super Sport Monday Night Football from the Super Eagles camp in Austria, where he is preparing for the international friendly against Cameroon, Ndidi touched on a variety of topics, including the Foxes’ failure to qualify for the Champions League, manager Brendan Rodgers and Kelechi Iheanacho’s form.
Asked what Leicester City would have preferred, qualifying for the Champions League or winning the FA Cup, Ndidi answered : “People with different opinions. Every player wants to play in the Champions League if they have the opportunity but if you don’t have the opportunity you see a Cup you have to grab it.
“We played the final before the Premier League matches, so we actually grabbed that one and we hoped for qualifying for the Champions League.
“It’s not like we were just hoping to qualify for the Champions League and just let the FA Cup just go away like that.
“I’m very grateful that we grabbed that one but it wasn’t possible for us to go to the Champions League.”
Ndidi’s reputation as a combative midfielder has grown by leaps and bounds since transferring to Leicester City from Racing Genk in January 2017.
The Nath Boys product has credited manager Brendan Rodgers with turning him into a better footballer.
“Brendan Rodgers is a very good coach, he is tactical. He’s a lovable coach, the players love him because he is not just a coach, he’s also like a father figure to us players.
“He’s very friendly, smiles, his door is always open for players. He has actually improved my game psychologically and on the pitch, understanding the game.
“He made me understand the position better and what he really needs me to do. He just wants me to be Wilfred Ndidi, allow Tielemans be Tielemans, Kelechi be Kelechi.
“I cannot do everything but I just need to do my own. Those things are actually adding to my game and then trying to make me better in so many aspects of the game.
“Everything boils down to the system Rodgers really wants for his players and the team,” said Ndidi on Rodgers.
Iheanacho had a remarkable campaign, especially in the second half of the season; his goals were pivotal in Leicester City winning the FA Cup and finishing fifth in the table.
Ndidi is delighted with the form of his former Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles teammate and suggested that the striker was short on confidence when he was made to play a bit-part role earlier in his career with Leicester City.
On Iheanacho’s form, Ndidi said : “We all know Kelechi Iheanacho is a very good player. Right from the U17 he can score goals, he can make assists.
“As a footballer not getting much time playing can actually reduce your confidence but I’m very happy he’s back.
“I’ve always tried to encourage him, he’s always giving his best in training but you could see Jamie Vardy is always there, running round the pitch.
“I just feel if Kelechi had the chance he would have actually done something that time when there was no chance for him to actually showcase but now he’s doing everything I expected of him and we all know the kind of player he is and I’m very proud of him and happy to play in the same team with him.”
Last season, Ndidi appeared in 36 matches across all competitions, and was involved in five goals (1 goal, 4 assists).
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