Nigeria international Wilfried Ndidi has credited his Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers for his improved form this season.
The 23-year-old player is counted among the English Premiership’s best defensive midfielders. He’s had a superb run playing under the former Liverpool FC manager, Rodgers.
“Playing under Rodgers has changed my game so much from the fact that I moved from an attacking team to a possession team,” Ndidi told Out of Home Podcast.
He said when Rodgers took over at Leicester, “he was trying to make us understand that he will always be there for us”. Ndidi added that the coach made time to meet the players individually to make them understand that there is room to improve.
“Since he came, I won’t lie to you I have improved as a player because I now understand simple things I never knew,” he said.
“No disrespect to other mangers, Brendan took his time to explain things like understanding space, understanding the game, where you can actually be and how you can actually improve on yourself and your quality.”
When asked to compare Rodgers’ style of management to others, Ndidi said: “When I first came to Leicester, it was business. That is still there but you need to enjoy and feel it also. My training style and that of so many players have improved. He made us understand that whatever we did during training is what we’ll do during games – there is no magic. You can’t be lazy in training and expect to be a superman during games.
“It all begins from the first whistle during warm-ups. During our training, you just have to be there. It’s not an academy where everybody will come and pamper you,” he added.
The Super Eagles star said Rodgers was encouraging the whole team and letting them know that there is no one who is irreplaceable. Ndidi will be hoping to pick up from where he left off when the English Premiership resumes next month after a two-month forced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
By Mthokozisi Dube