Peter Taylor paid tribute to the spirit in the Leicester camp after the Foxes recorded their first win of what has been a troubled opening to the new season with victory in the Worthington Cup at Blackpool on Monday.
Taylor came under fire following two successive heavy defeats, at home to the Premiership new boys Bolton and away to Arsenal, and only a late equaliser against Ipswich saved them from a third straight reverse on Saturday. The Foxes manager had been given a vote of confidence by the players before the game and, in a potentially awkward second-round tie at Bloomfield Road, they further eased the pressure on Taylor with a 1-0 win.
John Elsom, the Leicester chairman, had emerged prior to the kick-off to give assurances that his manager's immediate future was not in doubt after Leicester's poor start to the Premiership campaign. And it was a gesture that Taylor clearly valued. He said: "The club needed that. It wasn't an easy situation. It was hard for the players and difficult for myself."
Elsom had revealed that some senior players had approached him to pledge their support for Taylor. "It's very nice for the experienced players to go and see the chairman," Taylor said. "There's been a few reports saying they were not with me, but I didn't believe that. I'd heard a rumour that they were going to do it [see the chairman]. I thought they were thinking about doing it on Saturday, but that never materialised."
Blackpool could have earned at least a draw, even after Ade Akinbiyi had settled the visiting fans' nerves with what proved to be the only goal after 21 minutes. A world-class save from Ian Walker denied the Seasiders late on, but they wasted a hatful of chances throughout a game which belied the two divisions separating the teams.
"If someone had asked me if I would have accepted a very poor performance and got a 1-0 result, I would have taken it," Taylor said. "We are very pleased to get a win against an excellent Blackpool side."
The Blackpool manager, Steve McMahon, also praised his battling side for an "excellent" performance – although he admitted Leicester had looked a pale shadow of their former selves. "I thought we were fabulous," he said.
"The passing was good to see, although the result was obviously disappointing – I thought we deserved something out of it. I could see that Leicester were very nervous and that they were there to be taken. You can tell that they're going through a dodgy spell."Reuse content