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Nigel Pearson bites back but Leicester still in choppy waters

Nigel Pearson once fought off a pack of wild dogs while hiking alone in the Carpathian mountains of Romania so he is used to fending for himself.

Reuters| Updated: Feb 11, 2015, 19:20 PM IST
Nigel Pearson bites back but Leicester still in choppy waters

London: Nigel Pearson once fought off a pack of wild dogs while hiking alone in the Carpathian mountains of Romania so he is used to fending for himself.

The shark-infested waters of the Premier League are a different animal though.

Pearson has been bitten in recent days, caught up in a maelstrom following his unfortunate touchline grapple with an opposing player he once tried to sign.

The former Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough defender found himself in unedifying pictures on the back pages after appearing to throttle prone Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur in Saturday`s home loss.

Then came premature reports of his sacking and a subsequent social media spat with former Leicester City and England great turned BBC pundit Gary Lineker, Pearson irked by criticism from the Match of the Day frontman.

It was a slight surprise then that after a 2-1 loss at Arsenal on Tuesday, which kept the Foxes rooted to the foot of the table, a relaxed Pearson ended his post-match news conference by muttering he had enjoyed it more than the previous day`s grilling in the glare of a press pack wanting answers.

Pearson, though frustrated by another reverse when his side deserved a point for their bright display, said he had put his house in order both with McArthur, who he had spoken with, and the Midlands club`s Thai owners.

"I`ve always had a very good working relationship and on a personal level (with the owners), I don`t expect favours from anybody. I`m in a results driven business and our results have not been as we would like so that brings pressure," he said.

Rather than be distracted, the Yorkshireman said squad unity and morale was high, even if the gap between Leicester and the team just above the relegation zone -- QPR -- was now five points.

"The players have remained single minded, and their ability to deal with either criticism of themselves, or destabilising news, has been exceptionally good all season," he added.

"It`s been an unusual few days but that`s the type of scrutiny you can be under at this level.

"We as a football club have worked hard to get into this position, we have been outside the top flight for a decade and so we owe it to ourselves to give ourselves the best chance."

There is no let up in the pressure for Leicester, with Premier League trips to Everton and champions Manchester City following this weekend`s FA Cup tie at Aston Villa.