Saturday 24 September 2016

'It's an outburst, plain and simple' - Sam Allardyce defends Nigel Pearson over ostrich rant

Mark Bryans

Published 30/04/2015 | 11:36

Sam Allardyce wants to see West Ham fill their stadium
Sam Allardyce wants to see West Ham fill their stadium

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has defended Leicester counterpart Nigel Pearson after he was branded a bully for a bizarre press conference in which he labelled a journalist "an ostrich".

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Pearson received widespread disapproval for his barb at a reporter following the Foxes' 3-1 defeat to champions-elect Chelsea at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night.

Asked to elaborate on claims his players were receiving constant criticism this season, Pearson replied: "Have you been on holiday for six months? Have you been away for six months?

"I think you must have been either 'head in the clouds' or away on holiday or reporting on a different team because if you don't know the answer to that question your question is absolutely unbelievable, the fact you do not understand where I am coming from.

"If you don't know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich. Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no."

Many people have had their say on Pearson's display, which follows controversies earlier in the season when he used expletives in a disagreement with a fan, put his hands around the throat of Everton midfielder James McArthur and ended another spat with a journalist with a series of unpleasantries.

But Allardyce, speaking at his press conference ahead of West Ham's game against Burnley on Saturday, leapt to the defence of his fellow manager and hit out at the furore created around this latest incident.

"When you are down there dealing with the pressures that come upon in terms of staying in the Premier League, I think it is a huge pressure for everybody to continue to work under that situation and come through it," he said.

"What surprises me is this condescending attitude about what should happen to Nigel that I have been hearing about this morning. People have been talking about bullying and stuff like that - what a load of rubbish. It's an outburst. Simple as that, plain and simple.

"But I listen to the world of the media and sometimes it really does baffle me what they come out with in terms of what he should or shouldn't be doing."

QPR manager Chris Ramsey, whose side are also involved in the relegation battle, cited the pressure on managers scrapping at the foot of the division as the main catalyst for such issues.

"Any manager would feel the pressure," he said.

"Most of the pressure isn't about yourself, you want to do well for the fans and the owners and everyone who has put their effort and time into the club.

"That's where you feel the pressure from. It's how you can keep everyone that surrounds the club in work, that's how I see the pressure."

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