Leicester City fans should stay at home if they are not prepared to support the Premier League's bottom club during a dismal run of form, manager Nigel Pearson said following their 3-1 home defeat by Liverpool on Tuesday.
After taking an early lead against Brendan Rodgers' inconsistent Liverpool side, Leicester slipped to a sixth loss in seven league games to leave them on 10 points from 14 games.
Pearson has come under increasing pressure from his own supporters after his team have fallen away following a promising start to the season and he is without a win since their remarkable 5-3 victory against Manchester United in September.
The manager, who watches his side's games from the stands and relays instructions to assistant Craig Shakespeare on the bench, revealed he had an argument with a home fan at the King Power Stadium during Tuesday's defeat.
"I replied to one idiot in the stands and if he doesn't like what he sees, then don't bother coming," Pearson told Sky Sports. "If they (the fans) cannot see the players are having a proper go maybe they need to stay at home."
The manner in which Pearson presides over games from the stands has led to dissenting voices, with many supporters questioning the passion of the English manager and the methods he uses to communicate with the players during matches.
The cracks are beginning to show for the Leicester boss and with five league fixtures scheduled in a busy December he could come under more scrutiny ahead of the January transfer window when club's are notorious for ringing personnel changes.
Pearson, though, refused to be too downbeat.
"I will always look for the positives," Pearson, who led Leicester to the Championship (second-tier) title last season, said. "It is very easy for people to look at what we are not good at.
"I don't like the commitment of my players being questioned. If they (the fans) honestly think they are not committed, they are very wrong. Maybe that is why I stay in the stand."
"We have quality and commitment. We can't get downbeat by tonight's result. We have to break the cycle we are in at the moment."
Leicester visit Aston Villa in a Midlands derby on Sunday.