Brendan Rodgers said he wanted to show his appreciation to the travelling Leicester City fans despite knowing he may receive a backlash.
The City manager went over to the corner of Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium housing the away supporters following Saturday’s 1-1 draw. It is not something he has done regularly this term, particularly during the current poor run of form. Rodgers was not met with universal approval.
However, the drama began before he had even made his way over to the way end. At the full-time whistle, fans raised a ‘Rodgers out’ banner, only for it to cause a dispute among supporters, with others trying to drag it down. It was eventually hoisted into the air by the time Rodgers made an appearance.
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When he made his way through to the front of the crowd, Rodgers began to applaud the City fans. It appeared he was doing his trademark ‘little clap’, which has become a point of contention with fans of late.
Rodgers tends to encourage his players from the technical area with a burst of applause, and it has been picked out by fans as both a supposed half-hearted attempt to inspire his players that lacks an acknowledgement of the severity of the club's relegation fight. When he appeared to do the ‘little clap’ in front of the away fans, it was met with a smattering of boos.
Asked if he was making a point by going over to the away fans, Rodgers said, smiling wryly: “The away supporters, they travel. I always like to show my appreciation to them.
“It was a hard-fought point for us and hopefully they can feel proud of their team, especially the run of games we were on. It was just showing appreciation really.”
On the response from supporters, he added: “People are entitled to their opinion. I’ve always been respectful, I’ll always show respect. Whatever the reaction is, it’s okay. It’s been like that for a lot of the season.
“My focus can only be on making sure we get the results that keeps the club where we want to be, which is in the Premier League. Nothing will distract me from that. It’s not what you want, but that’s the reaction so you have to accept that.”
The draw means City go into the international break with their heads just above water in 17th place. Just four points separate the bottom nine of the division in one of the most competitive relegation battles in recent memory.
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