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Patson Daka given instruction by Brendan Rodgers to overcome Leicester City dry spell

Brendan Rodgers has his say on Patson Daka’s 12-game streak without a goal following another blank against Aston Villa

Leicester City striker Patson Daka has been told by boss Brendan Rodgers to make more runs to get over his dry spell in front of goal.

Daka’s blank against Aston Villa was his 12th game in a row without scoring, while he has just one in 16 since the start of February. Before that, he had scored nine times in 14 appearances.

A formation change does not seem to have helped Daka, who thrived when playing in a front two or with a number 10 behind him, with his opportunities drying up since. His expected goals (xG) total was 2.9 for his first 512 minutes of Premier League football. In the 492 minutes he has played since the formation changed, he has an xG score of 0.5.

Rodgers has been telling Daka that he needs to make more dashes in behind, but did admit that he had little space to work with against Aston Villa, the Zambian touching the ball just 16 times. That’s his second-lowest tally for a Premier League game in which he has started, after Liverpool away.

However, the City manager has also called for patience with Daka while he adjusts to a big step up from the Austrian Bundesliga. He also praised the integral work he is doing in pressing the game from the top of the pitch.

“It’s just time,” Rodgers said. “He’s not a footballer that’s going to come in and link the game. He’s a player that thrives on the through balls, but if there’s no space…

“We’ve just said to him about making more runs. I think he was better at that today (against Villa). He had a couple of moments in the box where he lacked a little bit of composure.

“He’s a player who in time will score many goals. It’s not always easy coming into a game. What he does is he sets a pressing tone. I thought, especially having played so many games, how we pressed the game was excellent, especially first half. They couldn’t build the game because we were so good in that area, and he’s very important for us for that.

“It’s just him adapting. He’s coming from a league in Austria, into the best league in the world. That’s always going to take time.”

Jamie Vardy’s return to fitness may limit Daka’s opportunities over the coming weeks, with Kelechi Iheanacho perhaps more likely to be used as an alternative to the number nine, the Nigerian possessing a different skillset.

Despite his recent dry spell, Daka still ranks third in the club’s goalscoring charts for this season, with 10. He is two behind Vardy, and four behind top scorer James Maddison.

(By Jordan Blackwell -Leicestershire Live )

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