Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has explained his reasons for leaving Kelechi Iheanacho on the bench in their 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.
Ross Barkley’s 63rd-minute winner at the King Power Stadium ensured the Foxes were eliminated from the competition.
Iheanacho has been delivering fine performances for Leicester in the second half of this campaign having struggled at the start of the season.
The Nigeria international has found the back of the net eight times and provided four assists in 20 appearances across all competitions so far this campaign.
The former Manchester City forward was expected to be introduced in the second half to boost the Foxes’ comeback in the game but was surprisingly left on the bench throughout the encounter.
When asked his reasons for his action, the Northern Irish tactician revealed he felt Jamie Vardy could rescue the day for his side.
“I was just looking at Jamie knowing he still looked fresh,” Rodgers said, as per Leicester Mercury.
“We felt he [Vardy] could grab a goal, he doesn’t need many opportunities, so it was just waiting for that opportunity for him to come. So it was as simple as that.”
Iheanacho’s compatriot Wilfred Ndidi, however, featured for the entirety of the match but could not help Leicester avoid the elimination.
The defeat against the Stamford Bridge outfit means the Foxes are now winless in their last three games after draws against Watford and Brighton and Hove Albion.
Iheanacho has featured in 65 appearances since joining the side in the summer of 2017 from the Citizens and has scored seven Premier League goals.
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The forward will hope to feature and help Leicester return to winning way when they take on Alex Iwobi’s Everton on Wednesday.
The King Power Stadium outfit are currently third on the Premier League table and will hope to clinch a Champions League spot at the end of this campaign.