Brendan Rodgers says it will be a “big ask” for Leicester City to finish in a Champions League spot – despite continuing their strong start to the season with a thumping win over Newcastle.
Jamie Vardy scored twice as Leicester demonstrated potential to secure a top-four finish by recording their biggest Premier League win to move back up to third in the table.
The 2015-16 champions are three points clear of both Chelsea and Tottenham, who finished third and fourth respectively last season.
Yet Rodgers played down his side’s chances of finishing in the top four, and said: “It’s very early in the season.
“We know it’s a big ask because of all the other clubs that have been regulars there. We are only really focusing on how we play, looking at our performance levels.”
Newcastle are anchored in the relegation zone after Leicester took full advantage of Isaac Hayden’s straight red card for a terrible tackle on fellow midfielder Dennis Praet by running riot.
Leicester were already leading through Ricardo Pereira’s outstanding low finish before the hosts made the extra man advantage count with three goals in 10 second-half minutes.
Vardy beat Martin Dubravka at his near post to double the lead and, after Paul Dummett had deflected Praet’s cross into his own net to make it 3-0, headed the fourth.
On a shocking day for Newcastle, Wilfred Ndidi added a late fifth goal with a shot on the turn.
Rodgers’ side, who started the weekend third but dropped to fifth following Saturday’s games, are two points off second-placed Manchester City and seven behind leaders Liverpool, who they visit next Saturday.