Nigel Pearson, the Leicester City manager accepts he is now under the full glare of the spotlight after a difficult past week, but he insists the extra scrutiny will not detract him from his job.
Reports last Sunday claimed Pearson had been sacked only for the club to later deny them. But with a lack of clarity on the issue, later reports suggested the club did actually make a decision to part company with Pearson but then relent.
All of this came a day after Pearson was involved in a bizarre touchline altercation with Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur, and led to heated exchanges in a press conference on Monday.
With Leicester bottom of the Premier League, Pearson is under pressure to deliver but he feels he can cope. Asked if he could sense any extra attention, Pearson said: “Yes, probably, but I am focused on what I am doing.
“I will be concentrating on the team. It is not a case of sticking your head in the sand. It is about dealing with situations as they arise and my focus is very much on the team and making sure our performance warrants a win, rather than a disappointing result where we have played well.”
Pearson’s side produced a lively performance at Arsenal on Tuesday but still went down to a 2-1 defeat that left them five points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.After four successive league defeats, Pearson feels hard-luck stories are becoming all too familiar.
He said: “I am getting tired of people giving us praise for performances but not getting results. We have got to make that change. There is no one else.
“We have to make sure we maintain the belief and application we have had and make sure that if it is bad luck that we turn it, and do everything we can to change our fortunes.
“Once you relent to feeling things aren’t going to go your way then I don’t think there is going to be a positive outcome. We still have a very strong belief in our ability and our ability to get out of the situation we are in.
“I think it has been clear with a lot of the performances we have had that our players are capable of competing. We have got to find a way of turning those positive aspects of a game into more positive results.”
Pearson was speaking at a press conference to preview Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against managerless relegation rivals Aston Villa. The match could provide an opportunity for both clubs to rediscover some much-needed winning form. Villa’s recent results have also been dispiriting and this week led to the sacking of Paul Lambert as manager.
Pearson said: “The Premier League remains the priority but this game in isolation is very important for us. It gives us the next chance to win a game.
“It is important we perform and progress to the next round but I am sure Villa will have a lot to say about that.”
One reporter tried to make light of the recent turmoil at both clubs by jokingly asking Pearson if he was interested in the vacancy at Villa Park. He did not see the funny side. “Not a classy question,” Pearson replied.Reuse content