Brendan Rodgers admits he is concerned by the lack of “hunger” being shown by his players after he watched his Leicester side relinquish their hold on the FA Cup following a 4-1 thrashing at East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.
Leicester won the competition for the first time in their history last season but became the second Premier League side to be dumped out of the tournament by Forest this year following a tame performance at the City Ground.
There were just 87 seconds between Forest’s first two goals – the second of which was scored by Brennan Johnson after a sloppy Daniel Amartey backpass – and the Foxes found themselves 3-0 down after only 32 minutes.
Leicester were blown away by their Championship opponents and have now won just five of their last 18 fixtures in all competitions.
It left Rodgers to admit his concern at errors creeping into their game. He said: “We made mistakes and the mistakes then affect the confidence through the team. You go two quick goals behind and you’re chasing the game then.
“For me, it’s something that I’ve seen for a little period now. These players, some of them have done very well, but we lacked that hunger and physicality, which was never the case and is something that’s a concern.
“We lacked stability at the back, gave away poor goals and the two quick goals rocked us. In a game of this importance – particularly a derby game, away from home – you need to have authority and you need to have physicality, and we lacked that in abundance.
Rodgers: Fan incident unacceptable
Leicester’s disappointment at their FA Cup exit was compounded by a supporter running on to the pitch following Forest’s second goal and appearing to throw punches at the celebrating players.
The Foxes released a statement after the game in which they apologised to Forest and pledged to issue the supporter with a lifetime ban.
Rodgers said: “There’s no room for it and I’m sure as a club we’ll deal with that. It should never happen, no matter how disappointing your team is and how they’ve been playing.
“The players have to be safe on the field. It was a great atmosphere today. I feel a big disappointment for our supporters, but we can never accept that behaviour.”
Nottinghamshire Police confirmed on Sunday evening that they had arrested a man, with chief inspector Neil Williams saying: “We have arrested a man in connection with an incident that took place today (Sunday 6 February) during the first half of the Nottingham Forest and Leicester City FA Cup match.
“Investigations are in the very early stages and our enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing.”
Leicester’s statement read: “The club is appalled by such behaviour and offers its apologies to Nottingham Forest and its players whose safety was compromised.
“We applaud the swift action taken by City Ground stewards in apprehending the individual involved, who will be subject to a lifetime ban from all Leicester City fixtures at home and away.
“We will offer every support to the relevant authorities in pursuing further appropriate action.”