Brendan Rodgers feels Europe could be a step too far for Leicester this season

Brendan Rodgers believes Europa League qualification could come too soon for Leicester – but the Foxes boss would embrace the challenge if it presented itself.

Leicester are currently seventh in the Premier League table and that would see them return to Europe next season if Manchester City beat Watford in the FA Cup final.

Rodgers, who has won four of his six matches in charge since replacing Claude Puel last month, has stated his aim to establish the club in the top six and is unsure whether a Europa League campaign next season would help or hinder that goal.

“There’s an argument for and against it,” said Rodgers.

“It could come too early for us, especially when we’re trying to create something, but it’s always difficult to turn it down if the opportunity is there.

“At the moment it looks like no one wants it, we lost on Friday and all the other teams around us lost as well.

“But our job is to finish the season as well as we possibly can and if that takes us to seventh then great, we’ll embrace whatever the challenges are for next season whether we’re in Europe or not.”

Leicester face a tough task if they are to cling on to seventh spot. In West Ham, the Foxes play a team on Saturday who would enhance their own European aspirations with a victory.

Rodgers’ side then finish off the Premier League season with matches against Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.

“We are not thinking along those lines,” said Rodgers.

“Of course we want to finish as high as we can. What is important for us is to do our very best.

“We are working together very well and imposing a lot of our ideas. We won’t always be perfect in all of the games, especially at this early stage, but it is important to continue to work and prepare for next season.”

Marc Albrighton will be available to start the game at West Ham.

The winger returned last week from a two-month absence with a hamstring problem, playing the final 10 minutes of the 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle.

While the 29-year-old is not yet able to complete 90 minutes, he is fit enough to be selected in the starting line-up.

“The squad are all fine. Everyone’s had a good week’s training. We’re as fine as we can be in terms of fitness and Marc Albrighton is back in and he’s had another good week,” said Rodgers.

“It depends whether he starts a game and plays 60 or 65 minutes or whether he comes into the game like he did against Newcastle.

“He’s another week or so further on in his fitness and he’s looked very good in training. It’s great to have him back and available and have someone of that quality back in the squad.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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