Manager Brendan Rodgers admits Leicester City are going to have to make a plan for life without prolific striker Jamie Vardy.
The former England man turned 34 last week and has been nursing a persistent hip problem. He will be fit for Tuesdays visit of Chelsea after coming off late on in Saturdays 2-0 win over Southampton.
Despite his long-standing hip issue Vardy has still scored 13 times in 19 games this season. However, Rodgers admitted, like with any player, the club must look to the future.
Of course, the backdrop is the club always has to be looking forward and planning forward, not just in Jamies position but in every position – its something which is an ongoing process with every player,” he said.
My job is to maximise the best we can get out of Jamie while hes here and in my time here hopefully we have shown he is developing and continuing to develop. At that age you can still develop and improve on and off the pitch and hes consistently showed that to me.
Vardy has helped fire the Foxes to third in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Manchester United. They have lost just once in their last 10 games in all competitions.
But Rodgers is happy for his men to go under the radar in the title race.
I understand we have been competitive for a long period of time, he added. Theres a natural loop towards what would be deemed the big six clubs. I understand that.
Its something which has always happened and will continue to happen. I never worry about that, its about developing us as a team and a club.
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Although underdogs to win an unlikely second Premier League title, the East Midlanders are right in the mix. Nobody is running away with the league and it seems as though there are five clubs left in the race.
It appeared as though Leicester could secure a top-four berth last season. They fell away towards the latter part of the campaign to end up fifth.
The hope is that there will be no repeat and Rodgers seems happy with what he has seen so far.
Were very satisfied, the players have been outstanding in their application and their work, he added. Its something we always reiterate, you have to retain that hunger and desire which is very important when you want to be constantly in the top echelons of the league.
There are a lot of big teams up there but our guys are competing and thats all I can ask. We are nearly at the halfway stage which tells you everything. You dont get too carried away, there are still so many games to go.
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