By Nick Mashiter, PA
Youri Tielemans has apologised for Leicester’s abject defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Boss Brendan Rodgers branded the 4-1 humbling “embarrassing” on Sunday as the holders crashed out of the FA Cup.
Tielemans was hauled off after 65 minutes with Rodgers questioning his players’ commitment and saying they are now fighting for their futures.
Belgium international Tielemans, who is yet to sign a new deal despite months of talks, was captain and admitted the Foxes failed.
“That’s football, we know it’s a big game for Leicester and Nottingham,” he told the club’s official site. “The crowd gets fired up, which is normal, but the only thing I can say about the fans is that we need to apologise to ours.
“They’ve been behind us, they are behind us, but we weren’t good enough on the pitch and we didn’t represent them well. Hopefully we can do that in the next game, but it’s very disappointing.
“Last season’s done, we won it and now we tried to go as far as we could but this was it unfortunately. We weren’t at our best, we weren’t good enough and that’s it.
“It’s always an honour to represent this club, this team, and I was really proud of this, but unfortunately it was a night to forget.
“We just need to digest this, look at ourselves in the mirror and then we’ll see from tomorrow.”
Just 87 seconds separated Philip Zinckernagel and Brennan Johnson’s goals before Joe Worrall made it 3-0.
Kelechi Iheanacho pulled a goal back before the break but Djed Spence sealed the rout in the second half.
There were also ugly scenes when a fan ran from the away end to attack the celebrating Forest players following Worrall’s goal, with Leicester vowing to ban him for life.
The Sky Bet Championship hosts booked a fifth-round tie at home to Huddersfield as they look to reach the last eight for the first time since 1996.
“They’re a good team, so you’re always looking for one or two little bits to exploit and fortunately one or two things came off,” said boss Steve Cooper.
“What I liked about it was, though we conceded, we didn’t let it affect our focus or mentality.
“The second half was always going to be different, deeper, defending in a mid-block, but we still looked a threat – Djed’s scored and there were other chances, The lads were brilliant.”