London: Under-pressure Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has attempted to play down a clash with Crystal Palace`s midfielder James McArthur during the south London club`s 1-0 win in the Premier League on Saturday.
Two months after receiving a one-match touchline ban and fine for arguing with one of his team`s supporters, Pearson has come under scrutiny again after appearing to grab the visiting player by the throat during Leicester`s home defeat.
McArthur, who nearly signed for the league`s bottom club in the close season before moving to Palace from Wigan Athletic, accidentally knocked Pearson over as he slid off the pitch into the technical area.
The manager reacted my putting his hand around the player`s neck as both lay on the ground and then tugging the Scotland international`s shirt when he tried to get back onto the pitch.
The pair were both pictured smiling during the incident and Pearson, whose team suffered their third straight league defeat after Joe Ledley struck in the second half for Palace, said it wasn`t a big deal.
"I didn’t see that one coming if I am honest," Pearson told Sky Sports. "But there you are. I was pushed to the floor and held my own."
Asked why he held back McArthur back, the Leicester boss replied: "Because he said something to me.
"I don`t have to reveal anything do I? I`m more than capable of looking after myself.
"Listen, I`ve a lot of respect for the lad, he`s a good player. You know what happened in the summer in terms of him coming here.
"I`m as disappointed as he was with how things panned out, but it was nothing to do with either myself or the player.
"But there`s no problem with the player. He`s a good player and a likeable lad," Pearson added.