Rodgers backs Gray but expects further improvement

Leicester City

Brendan Rodgers has been impressed with Demarai Gray’s recent performances and backed the winger to improve further.

Gray joined Leicester midway through their title-winning campaign in 2015-16 from Birmingham City. The forward has managed at least 30 Premier League appearances in all three of the Premier League seasons since but initially found himself out of favour at the start of this term.

The 23-year-old missed out on the matchday squad in the Foxes’ first two Premier League games of the season and didn’t make his first appearance until the 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the end of August.

Gray has proven to be a useful option from the bench for Rodgers in recent weeks and the Northern Irish manager feels he is now improving again after a period where the forward “stood still in his development”.

Rodgers has been delighted with Gray’s displays of late and backed the winger to earn a recall to his starting XI in the not-too-distant future.

“I know he wants to start but the game is also about the team that finishes,” Rodgers told the Leicester Mercury. “He has to make sure he is ready to make an impact. And he does that.

“He is so good in training and he’s in an environment where he’s improving all the time. I just think over the next few years there are big strides that he will make.”

Gray started 23 games for Leicester in the league last season but has been in the first XI just once this term, with seven further appearances coming from the bench.

The Foxes winger has scored 10 goals in total during his time with the club and has managed one this term, which was in the 4-0 EFL Cup win over Luton, and also has one assist to his name in the Premier League.