Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has hailed Super Eagles pair Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and teammates for their performance during the tough holiday schedule.
Ndidi was ever present at the heart of Leicester’s midfield while Iheanacho, replacing injured striker Jamie Vardy, played three games and scored one as the Foxes responded to back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Liverpool with victories at West Ham and Newcastle despite Rodgers making wholesale changes.
Nine of the men who played in the 4-0 Boxing Day defeat by Liverpool were rested for Saturday’s trip to the London Stadium, and six of them returned at St James’ Park on New Year’s Day.
Reacting on the 3-0 win on Tyneside, Rodgers said: “Some of these players, you’re going to see if they flourish if you put them in.
“Whether it was scientific or psychological, it doesn’t really matter. It’s very, very difficult, to play like we were on a Thursday at 8pm and if our game is based around intensity and physicality, and then we play on a Saturday less than 48 hours later.
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that you’re not going to be able to have that input physically into the game, so you have to make the changes.
“But I trust the squad. I see them work every day, I see how hard they work, how professional they are and know that we could make that change, so I made the changes. It worked well and then we can come here and make a number of changes to keep the energy and maximum intensity in the team.”