Lady Luck leaves Leicester as Liverpool batter Brum.

A not so Good Friday dented The Foxes promotion hunt as they lost to Forest 3-2. But a brace a piece from substitute Yakubu and Jeffrey Bruma kept The Foxes faint play-off hopes alive as they despatched Watford 4-2 on Easter Monday at The Walkers.

Leicester City’s season has been one of wonder and despair, the brilliant and the unfortunate. Since Eriksson took over the club has continually been on the climb up the Championship table, dominating games and scoring some crackers along the way. The team seemed to run out of puff in March but since April have had a spring in their step. It looked like the club could still gain a promotion play-off place. But Lady Luck left the East Midlands, seemingly taking up residence with The Canaries of Carrow Road. Just ask Leicester keeper Chris Weale, it was a tame shot that eluded him to give Forest their victory.

Eriksson, a man of unshakable belief in his players this season, may now have quietly conceded that The Foxes promotion chance is over.

He told “I was very happy with the players today and happy for the fans because they deserve to see this team playing at its best. They have been fantastic at home and away so a good performance and a good result was what they deserved today.”

Perhaps it is more down to other teams showing fight in recent weeks that makes Leicester task now so difficult. While The Foxes stumbled, The Royals and The Swans all moved up the table, taking full advantage. Forest, Leeds, Hull and Burnley all had their moments when they looked sure bets to put up a challenge, but too fell away.

A visit to Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday presents a tough task as Doncaster Rovers have yet to secure their Championship status. With a play-off spot unlikely it may just give The Foxes freedom to play and pick up three points, but perhaps just a little too late.

Eriksson will know that his players have the skill, the fight and now the experience of a promotion chase that The Foxes can look forward to next season with some hope. The first game cannot come soon enough for some of the players, but a summer of rest and appreciation of what happened over the past nine months will give them greater belief, greater strength and determination that they may not need Lady Luck.

In preparation for next season BBC Radio Leicester understands the club have lined up a glamour home pre-season friendly against nine-time European champions Real Madrid. Managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, Los Merengues are likely to visit on Saturday 30 July.

With current market squad value for The Foxes hovering just under £35 million, they will be welcoming a team thirteen times their own value, Real worth just over £453 million, with a former Liverpool midfield maestro clocking in at the magic £35 million mark.

Free transfer Maxi Rodriguez struck in the sixth minute to start Liverpool’s Brum destruction. Two further goals ensured his hat-trick, with goals from Dirk Kuyt and Joe Cole completing a comprehensive victory which not only broke the miserable run against Birmingham but beat it into submission.

It was clearly a day that showed Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool has moved into a winning mindset. Previous manager, Roy Hodgson, would no doubt have only hoped to beat Birmingham. Nothing as defeatist from the Scot, who was put forward this week by MP’s for a knighthood due to his work with the Hillsborough families.

For periods in the game Liverpool were vibrant. With Andy Carroll missing through injury Dalglish named an XI that could be flexible, thoughtful, skillful and frightening. Attacks came out of nowhere leaving the Brum defence scrambling and relying on the impressive Ben Foster, then substitute keeper Colin Doyle, to keep the score down.

The passing was short and sharp, the movement was laden with intent and the young Jay Spearing continued to impress in central midfield due to the absence of Steven Gerrard.

Teenage full-backs Jack Robinson and John Flanagan showed no sign of nerves under the expectations from the new dawn under Dalglish, with composed performances belying their inexperience.

A far cry from the start of the season when managerial and ownership issues hung over Anfield.

As with the way things are done now under FSG, rumours of a new kit deal have not been commented on. But if the £25 million a year deal with American firm Warrior Sports is correct, it beats the current deal Manchester United have with Nike by £1.5 million. With Liverpool being the fourth best selling replica kit in the world Warrior, a subsidiary of New Balance, will leave current manufacturers, Adidas, noses out of joint.

The signs are that FSG are brining more than money to the table. They have gone about their business in a way that aligns itself to the Liverpool of Shanks and Paisley, something many Reds fans believe to be the best way.

None of this guarantees success on the pitch of course. But Liverpool fans are seeing their club being run by intelligent businessmen who are prepared to do the hard work behind closed doors while the players do their hard work in front of a packed Anfield.

Hosting Newcastle this weekend could see Liverpool cement a top six finish. It could be an emotional day for Carroll facing his boyhood team and with only three months since his departure there maybe some stick from the Toon faithful.

Dalglish, who will also be facing a former employer, told a pre match press conference: “For Andy it’s a poignant game but if he’s not fit, he’s not fit. We can’t do anything about that.”

Ahead of the game Carroll, Pepe Reina, Raul Meireles and Glen Johnson went to Madrid to see the Champions League semi-final. All seemed in relaxed mood as they enjoyed a day in the Spanish capital. From a Liverpool aspect the fans will be hoping they reflect the pure footballing beauty of Barca come Sunday, and not the play acting and bad tackles that were also on show.

Kenny wouldn’t stand for the latter and neither would his counterpart Alan Pardew, the same goes for both sets of fans. Liverpool Newcastle games have a history of entertaining for the right reasons and there’s no reason the Sunday lunchtime showdown will be any different.


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