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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers plays down Tottenham speculation

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers plays down Tottenham speculation
© Reuters
Brendan Rodgers has been linked with replacing Jose Mourinho in north London.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers dismissed links to the Tottenham job and insisted he wants to progress at the Foxes.

Spurs are looking for a new manager after Jose Mourinho was sacked on Monday.

They are seventh in the Premier League and face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, with former midfielder and current academy coach Ryan Mason put in charge until the end of the season.

Under Rodgers, Leicester have become top-four challengers and reached their first FA Cup final for 52 years by beating Southampton on Sunday.

Rodgers has been at the King Power since February 2019 and wants to continue his work.

He said: "It's football, there is always speculation around, every job which comes up there will always be different managers speculated to go in.

"Tottenham is a fantastic club, it's a huge club but my focus is here. I'm at a world-class training facility, the project we're in here we still want to develop and have a lot of work to do.

"I have a great connection with the players, the board and we have plans to keep progressing.

"While I have the energy, the happiness and see that challenge continuing I'm very happy to be here. You can't stop gossip but I don't think about it."

Rodgers, though, insisted Mourinho's quality should not be in doubt despite leaving Spurs after 17 months in charge.

He said: "Jose is a world-class manager. The thing which disturbs me a little is how it gets questioned. What he has done in the game, he should be able to position the expectations. He has earned that respect to be able to do that.

"You are not a world-class manager one day and then you go to a job and it doesn't quite work out and you're not. He is clearly a winner, he will always be a winner.

"I'm disappointed for Jose, I know him personally and know he is a world-class manager, he has shown that over his career.

"He is a manager who has won and unfortunately for him that hasn't happened at Tottenham.

"Their expectation is to win titles and compete at the top end of the league. I have empathy for any manager who loses their job."

The Foxes host West Brom on Thursday and Ricardo Pereira is expected to be fit despite coming off in the 1-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton with a tight calf.

Rodgers added: "Every game is so dangerous, especially with them on the back of a couple of good results. Since January they have been really competitive.

"They have shown against Chelsea and Southampton they are a very dangerous team."

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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

FOOTBALL
· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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