Brendan Rodgers reveals James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury have apologised to their Leicester City team-mates for breaking Covid-19 protocols as trio are integrated back into the squad for FA Cup semi-final with Southampton
- Leicester players who breached Covid rules are available against Southampton
- James Maddison and Ayoze Perez were among those dropped last weekend
- Brendan Rodgers’ side are aiming to reach their first FA Cup final since 1969
- Maddison will now struggle to force his way into England’s squad for the Euros
Brendan Rodgers has revealed that the Leicester players who broke Covid rules have apologised to their team-mates for their error of judgement as the club bid to reach their first FA Cup Final since 1969.
James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury were three of the players believed to have attended a gathering two weeks ago that breached protocols, and Rodgers opted not to pick them for last Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham as punishment.
The trio trained away from the rest of the group last week but re-joined the squad for this week’s sessions after clear-the-air talks following the Hammers match and are available for Sunday’s semi-final against Southampton at Wembley.
Brendan Rodgers says his players accepted an apology from those who broke Covid rules
James Maddison (left) and Hamza Choudhury (right) were among those dropped last weekend
‘We had a meeting at the beginning of the week and we accept their apology,’ said Rodgers.
‘The guys were sincere. Not only did they know they had made a mistake, they also understood the team is based on our pride and behavioural expectation and they fell below that.
So we accepted their apology and today there was a real good energy back in the squad again. I think this will galvanise us again.’
Rodgers also said Maddison was full of regret about the mistake that could end once and for all his chances of winning a place in England’s squad for Euro 2020.
Maddison now faces a struggle to force his way into the England squad ahead of the Euros
The 24-year-old already faced an uphill struggle to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s final group following the recurrence of a hip problem that has kept him out of Leicester’s starting XI for nearly two months.
Rodgers would not be drawn on Maddison’s international prospects but added: ‘He was very remorseful. I’ve always said I loved working with him, he’s a young player who has made a mistake and he was man enough to hold his hands up, he was not hiding from it.
‘He was bitterly disappointed in himself and bitterly disappointed he had let his teammates down. He wasn’t trying to talk anything round, other than to say he had made a mistake. It’s my job to help teach these young players, to help them make a better choice in future.’
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