‘We’re underdogs and, in most walks of life, everyone would like us to do well’
RODGERS SAYS CITY WILL BE CHEERED ON TODAY AS THE ‘PEOPLE’S CLUB’
LEICESTER City may only have 6,000 of their own fans inside Wembley for today’s FA Cup final, but they will be cheered on around the country as the “people’s club”, manager Brendan Rodgers believes.
City have an opportunity to lift the famous trophy for the first time in their history when they take on Chelsea in this afternoon’s showpiece occasion.
Rodgers believes there will be plenty of people from outside of Leicester willing them to victory, particularly given the recent controversy surrounding the elite clubs’ plan for a breakaway European Super League.
To beat Chelsea would further establish City as the club disrupting the natural order as they look to sustain success at the top, he believes.
“People will look at Chelsea v Leicester and they will see Leicester as the underdog,” Rodgers said.
“And, in most walks of life, everyone would like the underdog to do well.
“It has been pretty clear with the talk around the Super League and super clubs and how they have been defined, but for us we would love to continue growing to be that people’s club as such, the club that supporters around the country look at and hope that their own club can do a Leicester in challenging the elite of the game.
“We are realistic but also optimistic about what we can achieve even though we don’t have the resources of some of these other clubs.
“So being competitive and being a club in European football consistently over a number of years would be a huge success for Leicester City and would help the club continue to grow and develop on a worldwide basis.
“I think it gave a notion to the regular supporter – who is in love with football but not so much the business of it – that Leicester can be the signpost for every team that this is what can happen.
“Economically – the way we are run very well as a club – and equally from a performance perspective.
“Most supporters will look at Leicester as a club and give them hope that one day their own team can be that team as well.
“This story here since winning the title has been one that has gone round the world.
“What we have tried to do here is build our own map and make the club sustainable.
“We haven’t been around supporters so much obviously but I sense there is a lot of good will for a club like us.
“We are the pioneers for the clubs outside the top six, as such.”
While not on quite as such a grand scale as their original underdog story in winning the Premier League title in 2016, beating Chelsea would still be against the odds, given their experience.
While this is City’s first final in 21 years, it is Chelsea’s sixth in the past five seasons.
Rodgers knows what is at stake with glory at Wembley.
“(The title win) will always be the big achievement here at Leicester City but we have a chance of making this the second best in the history of the club,” said Rodgers. “And if we can get to Champions League football and do something in the FA Cup it would be our own part in the great history of this football club.
“Chelsea as a club over many years, not just their recent history but looking at their last 20 or 25 years, they’ve been in lots of cup finals.
“But that’s the expectation of a club of that size and the investment that is put into the team.
“For us, you always have to start somewhere, and you have to make your own history.
“It’s the first FA Cup final and we have an opportunity to create that story for ourselves.
“We respect Chelsea, and we’ll respect their experience.
“However it’s on the day and if you get that bit of luck and you can perform well, then hopefully you get the victory.
“You have to experience it, of course. We have players who have been in and around finals.
“But it’s also exciting for this to be your first.”
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