Chelsea vs Leicester City: 'We're not fazed by facing Chelsea,' says Foxes' manager Nigel Pearson

The newly promoted side travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday

It seems safe to say that Jose Mourinho has never had a tip-off from a mate in Sheffield about a player at Stocksbridge Park Steels. But today at Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea manager will come up against a man who has – Leicester City’s Nigel Pearson, who went on to sign that same player, Jamie Vardy, from Conference side Fleetwood.

“I live in Sheffield and somebody told me about him through a friend of mine,” recalled Pearson this week, evoking a rather different world from the one Mourinho inhabits. “He fully deserves the opportunity to play in the Premier League.”

The same might be said of Pearson, 51 two days ago, who – apart from two games as caretaker at Newcastle United – has waited until now for the chance to manage in the top flight. Perhaps this is why, 16 years after his first management job at Carlisle United, he has no complaints about the tough start Leicester have been handed: an opening fixture against Everton followed by away dates at Chelsea and Arsenal.

“I spoke to the players and they were all really looking forward to it,” Pearson said. “That for me is the key thing. The players saw [the fixtures] and were not fazed.”

“Not fazed” could be Pearson’s personal mantra. Unlike the soundbite-spilling Mourinho, the one-time Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough centre-back can seem dour as he sidesteps clichés in his press briefings, though there was something refreshing on Thursday in his wariness about such fixtures “becoming an occasion rather than a game” for last season’s Championship winners.

Leicester lack Premier League knowhow. They started with just four players against Everton who had appeared in the division before. Of himself, Pearson says he is “pleased with the variety of experiences I have had”. The former Southampton and Hull City manager, now in his second spell at Leicester, said: “I have worked in all four domestic leagues, I played in non-league football, I have worked at national level [as England Under-21 assistant manager] and assisted good managers. I am looking forward to working in the Premier League but I will only enjoy it if I feel we are maximising what we’ve got and striving to push on.”

At Leicester – whose Thai owners have invested more than £160m in four years – pushing on seems a realistic prospect. “We don’t have debts with regards to the ground now,” Pearson added. “We have a very solid foundation, the [owners] have invested sensibly in the last two or three years in improving the squad. We do feel we have quite a bit of potential within the squad.”

Pearson broke the club’s transfer record this summer with the £8m purchase from Brighton of striker Leonardo Ulloa, a scoring debutant in the 2-2 draw with Everton, and is now pursuing a deal for Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, a free agent after leaving Internazionale.

There have also been new contracts for 10 players, Vardy signing this week to follow the lead of such key figures as goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, defender Liam Moore and striker David Nugent.

Suggested Topics
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album