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Rodgers upbeat after Gray strike sinks Foxes

Watford 2 Leicester 1

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

PA

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

Brendan Rodgers saw enough from Leicester to be positive - despite his first game in charge ending in a 2-1 defeat to Watford.

Rodgers, back in the Premier League for the first time since losing his job at Liverpool in 2015, looked to be opening his Foxes tenure with a point after Jamie Vardy cancelled out Troy Deeney's fifth-minute opener.

But Andre Gray ruined his day with an injury-time winner at Vicarage Road.

The match got off to a poor start but after Vardy's 76th- minute leveller, Leicester looked the more likely side until Gray's goal.

"I have got a good idea from watching the team in terms of what the needs are for the summer," said Rodgers. "They are a fantastic group of players, who have a great spirit and are very keen to learn.

"I said to them despite the result we have had a really good week's training, they have taken on board the areas we spoke about.

"I know we can improve, there are things we need to get better at, but there is a lot of potential in there.

''I am looking forward to another week's training before my first home game against Fulham." Vardy's leveller came as he found space in between the two centre-halves before racing on to Youri Tielemans' pass and finishing coolly.

He later had to go off feeling the effects of a collision with Ben Foster, but Rodgers believes Vardy, 32, is someone he can build his team around.

Rodgers added: "He's a player I've always loved, we've seen in the last number of years, he's a born scorer, but he is perfect for us in the intensity in which he presses and his running ability. He showed what he is great at, the pass by Youri, great speed and a wonderful finish, so it is just about getting players in and around him, so he is not on on his own and we did that in the second half."

Rodgers was returning to Vicarage Road, the place where he began his managerial career, and he was not handed the warmest of receptions, as he was resoundingly booed by the Hornets fans.

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LATE HERO: Watford’s Andre Gray celebrates scoring their second goal with Troy Deeney. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

LATE HERO: Watford’s Andre Gray celebrates scoring their second goal with Troy Deeney. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Action Images via Reuters

LATE HERO: Watford’s Andre Gray celebrates scoring their second goal with Troy Deeney. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

"I didn't hear so much, to be honest," the former Celtic manager added. "I will always be grateful for Watford.''

For Watford it was a perfect response to their midweek 5-0 defeat at Liverpool, winning a fourth game in five.

They are in the race to finish seventh and in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Boss Javi Gracia said: "There are nine games left, five of them are a home and we have the quarter-final of the FA Cup. I can see that the players are ambitious."


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