London - Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson said a fighting display in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal showed his team could beat the drop despite a tumultuous few days at the club.
Pearson has battled speculation he had been sacked in the wake of a bizarre touchline bust-up last week, but he backed his players to shrug off "destabilising news".
First-half strikes by Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott put Leicester on the back foot but they hit back through Andrej Kramaric to place Arsenal under heavy pressure.
Bottom club Leicester are now five points from English Premier League safety but a typically bullish Pearson said the performance showed the Foxes could escape relegation.
"The players have remained very single-minded and the ability to deal with criticism of themselves or destabilising news has been exceptionally good all season," Pearson said.
"It's been an unusual few days but there we are. The big message tonight is, yes we're capable, yes we can perform against big sides.
"We have to find extra ingredients to win these games, and beat sides around us."
Arsenal's Arsene Wenger remarked that he was surprised that Leicester had wanted to "get rid of the manager" but Pearson fired back: "They don't want to get rid of me. I'm here."
After a moment's silence, Pearson then said to the questioning journalist: "Are you trying to stare me out?"
The exchange followed reports, later denied by the club, that Pearson was sacked in the wake of last week's touchline incident with Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur.
Footage showed Pearson with his hands around McArthur's throat after he was inadvertently knocked over by the player, but he dismissed the incident as a "bit of banter".
Pearson also revealed that McArthur had sent him a text message on Monday, which he believed "reflected well" on the former Leicester transfer target.