English Premiership

Pearson still the boss - Leicester

2015-02-09 08:30
Nigel Pearson

London - Premier League basement club Leicester City tried to quell a frenzied few hours of speculation over the future of Nigel Pearson by insisting Sunday that he "remained the club's first-team manager".

Earlier on Sunday, Sky Sports News reported the Foxes boss had been dismissed, sparking a wave of reaction.

But hours after Sky first aired their report, Leicester eventually issued a brief statement announcing that Pearson was still in his job with the Midlands club.

"Leicester City Football Club would like to clarify its position relative to its manager, Nigel Pearson," the statement said.

"Contrary to media speculation on Sunday evening, Nigel remains the club's first-team manager. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and without foundation.

"Nigel, his staff and the first team squad are entirely focused on Tuesday night's trip to Arsenal and our continued efforts to secure our position in the Barclays Premier League," the statement concluded.

Pearson led Leicester to the Championship title last season but the Foxes have taken just 17 points from their opening 24 league games this term and are currently rooted to the foot of the table.

The 51-year-old's cause was not helped by an extraordinary incident during Saturday's 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace.

Pearson was knocked over on the touchline by Palace midfielder James McArthur after a tackle by Marc Albrighton.

There followed a seemingly friendly exchange between the former Southampton and Hull manager and the Scottish player, with Pearson grabbing McArthur around the throat before helping him to his feet.

However, events took a less pleasant turn when Pearson prevented McArthur returning to the field by seizing hold of his shirt.

Former Leicester and England striker Gary Lineker, now the host of BBC television's Match of the Day programme, was convinced Pearson had been sacked.

"Not overly surprised that Nigel Pearson has been fired by Leicester, given they're bottom, but he's been a very good manager of the club," Lineker told his Twitter followers on Sunday.

"Not sure if yesterday's bizarre touchline behaviour had anything to do with Pearson's exit, but certainly shows how the job gets to 'em all."

Pearson started his second spell as Leicester manager in November 2011, having left for Hull less than 18 months previously.

Leicester amassed a huge 102 points last season in a dominant run to the Championship title but the step up to the top tier has been tough for the Foxes.

They enjoyed a stunning come-from-behind 5-3 win over Manchester United in September but Leicester's next Premier League victory did not arrive until Hull were defeated on December 28.

That was followed by a draw with Liverpool and a win over Aston Villa before successive defeats by Stoke, Manchester United and Palace cast doubt over Leicester's ability to retain their top-flight status.

Pearson's side are currently four points behind 17th-placed Burnley, the last club above the relegation zone.

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