Sunday 25 June 2017

Nigel Pearson tells Craig Shakespeare to take the Leicester job if offered it

Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare, right, during Pearson's spell as manager
Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare, right, during Pearson's spell as manager

Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson has told Craig Shakespeare to take the manager's job if he is offered it by the club's owners.

Shakespeare, assistant to Pearson at Leicester and Hull, has excelled since he was placed in charge following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, winning all six of his games - including a victory against Sevilla in the Champions League.

The 53-year-old is the first British boss to win his first five matches in the Premier League and he will join some esteemed company alongside Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola as the only managers to win their first six should Leicester win at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Shakespeare has certainly made himself a contender for the job at the King Power Stadium but he says he has not thought about what his decision would be if he was to be offered it on a permanent basis.

"I don't know. The contract is purely until the end of the season and I've stated before that any time the owners want to speak...if not then we'll sit down at the end of the season and that's fine by me," said Shakespeare.

"I've said at the beginning that I think I can do the job and it doesn't phase me, but there are other aspects to it. Do I think I'm a better assistant as I am a first-team manager? And these are the questions I review myself."

When asked if Pearson had encouraged him to go for it, he replied: "Yes, he has done in the past.

"I'm not in regular contact with him, I never was. We have spoke a couple of times but nothing at great length."

Pearson was sacked by Leicester in the summer of 2015, just weeks after masterminding an unlikely escape from relegation.

Having worked alongside Pearson for so long was there any awkwardness now that Shakespeare has the job?

!No, I think there would have been if it had been straight after. But with the time frame and everything considered it didn't feel awkward on both our parts," said Shakespeare.

"At the moment it's only until the end of the season. I've asked the team to focus on each game at a time and it's important that if I'm asking the players to do that then I do that too as manager. I think that's important."

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