It seems all but certain that Brendan Rodgers will become the new manager of Leicester City, with the Northern Irishman poised to replace Claude Puel at the King Power Stadium.
The appointment would mark a return to the Premier League for the former Swansea City and Liverpool manager, who, following his sacking by the Reds in October 2015, has enjoyed plenty of success across the border with Celtic, winning back-to-back domestic trebles between 2016-2018.
With Rodgers set to inherit a talented yet underperforming group of players, here are five things the 46-year-old needs to do in order to reverse the current fortunes of Leicester:
Play to Their Strengths
One of Claude Puel's biggest failings during his time at Leicester was his insistence to turn the Foxes from a side known for their threat on the counter-attack - that their 2015/16 Premier League title win was built on - into a possession-based club, limiting the effect that key figures such as Jamie Vardy could have on a game due to the slow nature of their build-up.
While Rodgers is another manager accustomed to a style of play dictated by having a large portion of possession, the Northern Irishman has shown in the past he's able to adapt to certain situations, especially when it means getting the best out of a group of players.
Take Liverpool's 2013/14 season for example. While having the luxury of working with talent such as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez, Rodgers was able to maximise their output, as well as
getting consistent performances out of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling from a central position, suggesting he's more than capable of getting the best out of the current crop at Leicester.
Improve Home Form
A major challenge facing Rodgers at Leicester is improving their home record, and making the King Power Stadium a ground that the opposition don't enjoy coming to once again.
The Foxes currently have the fourth-worst home record in the Premier League, having
Rectify Recent Defensive Issues
While only conceding 38 goals at this stage of the season isn't especially a concern, their record since the turn of the year should be something that Rodgers must look to rectify during his tenure.
Only Fulham have conceded more than Leicester's 15 since the beginning of 2019 in the Premier League, of which they've played seven games, with the Foxes shipping four against Wolves and Crystal Palace - Puel's final game in charge - as well as three against Tottenham in heavy defeats for the Midlands-based club.
Although Rodgers isn't exactly renowned for building sides with defensive prowess - his 2013/14 Liverpool side that finished second in the Premier League conceded 50 goals - it will be an expectation for him to do so now.
Target Domestic Cups as a Priority
"Anyone looking at us will see that we are a good team. It’s a very young squad with some very talented players."#LeiBha— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 26, 2019
With another Premier League triumph for Leicester in the near future seemingly unlikely, Rodgers should target winning one of the two domestic cups - the Carabao Cup or FA Cup - during his time at the club.
Puel guided the Foxes to a respectable quarter-final stage of this season's Carabao Cup, where they lost on penalties to eventual winners Manchester City, however it was the club's third round exit in the FA Cup to Sky Bet League Two side Newport County that irked fans.
The decision to make a number of changes, as well as the limp performance in Wales, saw Puel come in for plenty of criticism for their humbling, as Rodgers should see either competition as an opportunity to make his mark at the club.
Create a Positive Relationship With the Fans
Arguably the most important thing for Rodgers to do, especially between now and the end of the season especially, is to improve the current relationship between Leicester fans and the manager, which soured under Puel.
Whether it was for the Frenchman's insistence to adopt a possession-based style of play, or a distant demeanour that he appeared to sport on the sidelines, it became clear that supporters had given up on Puel, which is usually the signal of a manager's time at a club reaching its end.
While Rodgers will be given a certain amount of time to implement his ideas at the club, the sooner he establishes a positive relationship with the fans, the better it'll be for him in both the short-term and beyond.
Source : 90min