Nigel Pearson, the Leicester manager, will aim higher than just surviving again in the Premier League next season. Pearson’s men signed off by thumping relegated Queen’s Park Rangers at home on the final day of the season to complete an amazing recovery by taking 22 points from the last 27 on offer and finish in 14th.
“Let’s keep the celebrations in context,” Pearson said after his side had completed their biggest victory of the season. “It’s a fabulous achievement but I wouldn’t want to be looking at avoiding relegation as a target to aspire to. The two clubs [QPR and Burnley] who came up with us have been relegated, so it’s clearly a difficult transition. I’m a big believer in setting targets to stretch people but I have also got a sense of realism.
“Finishing 14th wouldn’t have been believable a couple of months ago, but we’ll see how we add to squad and progress next year.”
Pearson was delighted with a performance in which five different players – Jamie Vardy, Marc Albrighton, Leonardo Ulloa, Esteban Cambiasso and Andrej Kamaric – all found themselves on the scoresheet.
“Having assured our status last week, there was an element of whether we could rise to the occasion,” Pearson said. “We played with a ruthless edge and it was important to finish on a good note.”
The QPR manager, Chris Ramsey, felt the defeat summed up their miserable season as they were condemned to bottom spot.
“It was very disappointing as some of our defending was schoolboy and we weren’t able to capitalise on the few chances we had at crucial points,” he said. “That has probably been the story of our season, we didn’t take our chances at 2-0 and then the game goes away from you.”