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setback Brendan Rodgers refuses to panic as Leicester's top four hopes take a big hit

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Leicester City's James Maddison reacts after seeing his side concede a fourth goal in the defeat to Newcastle. Michael Regan/PA Wire.

Leicester City's James Maddison reacts after seeing his side concede a fourth goal in the defeat to Newcastle. Michael Regan/PA Wire.

Leicester City's James Maddison reacts after seeing his side concede a fourth goal in the defeat to Newcastle. Michael Regan/PA Wire.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers will not hit the panic button after his side's push for a top four finish in the Premier League took a big hit as they were beaten 4-2 at home by Newcastle.

Callum Wilson struck twice in a shock 4-2 win at the ragged hosts to all but secure the Magpies’ Premier League status.

Caglar Soyuncu’s error gifted Joe Willock an opener before Paul Dummett’s first goal in over five years doubled the visitors’ lead.

Wilson’s second-half brace lifted the Magpies to 13th, despite Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho scoring late on for Leicester.

They will be safe if Fulham fail to beat Burnley on Monday but can now only go down on goal difference as they face the Cottagers on the final day of the season.

Leicester struggled badly after losing Jonny Evans in the warm-up and remain third but opened the door for Chelsea and West Ham in the race to finish in the top four.

The Foxes go to Manchester United on Tuesday while they also face Chelsea and Tottenham – after their FA Cup final against the Blues – in their final three top-flight games.

They could suffer late Champions League heartbreak again, with the fifth-placed Hammers five points behind with a game in hand, after the Foxes also missed out on the top four on the final day of last season.

“I feel wehave more resilience than last season,” said boss Brendan Rodgers. “I have always said we have to fight for everything. We are so close to where we want to be.

“We are in a great position still. I have always said ‘let’s see where we are after 38 games’.

“We could have had four or five goals but if you defend like that you are going to struggle to win games.

“The blow of Jonny not playing (was difficult) because he is such a great organiser for us.

“We have been managing it (the injury) and he has come through really well.

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“He was in a lot of pain yesterday but woke up feeling a bit better and it seemed fine but as he was coming in to get ready he felt it and was in a lot of discomfort.”

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce insisted his side must finish their Premier League survival job in the grand manner after a huge win.

He said: “We are a darn sight better off than a month ago. We have made huge strides but we cannot take anything for granted.

“It’s a nice easy one against Manchester City next week, until you get to the magic figure you don’t know what it is but we have given ourselves a chance of getting past 44 points which is what we got last year.

“We are not safe, we are almost there. Until it is done we have to get ready for the next challenge.

“Once the big players return, it makes a difference. We have struggled with injuries and Covid-19 and that has been a major change.

“We were a threat, we were clinical which helps. It was as good as we have played in the couple of years I’ve been here.”

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