Rock bottom Foxes offload boss Pearson

Leicester have sacked manager Nigel Pearson with the club at the foot of the Premier League, according to reports.

Pearson led the Foxes to the Championship title last season, but his team have picked up just 17 points from their opening 24 matches of the current campaign.

Leicester made no immediate comment.

The 51-year-old former Southampton and Hull boss was involved in a bizarre incident in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Crystal Palace.

He was knocked over on the touchline by Palace midfielder James McArthur after a tackle by Marc Albrighton, resulting in what was initially a friendly exchange between the Foxes boss and Scottish player.

Pearson even playfully grabbed McArthur around the throat before helping him to his feet, only to then prevent him from returning to the pitch by grabbing hold of his shirt.

Former Leicester striker Gary Lineker, now host of BBC show Match of the Day, wrote on Twitter: "Not overly surprised that Nigel Pearson has been fired by Leicester, given they're bottom, but he's been a very good manager of the club.

"Not sure if yesterday's bizarre touchline behaviour had anything to do with Pearson's exit, but certainly shows how the job gets to 'em all."

Pearson began his second spell as Leicester manager in November 2011, less than 18 months after departing for Hull.

His side amassed 102 points last season as they dominated the Championship, but the step up to the top flight has been difficult.

A stirring 5-3 home win over Manchester United in September augured well for their prospects, but it was followed by a distinctly lean spell and Leicester's next victory did not arrive until Pearson's charges faced his old side Hull on December 28.

A draw against Liverpool and win over Aston Villa followed, but successive defeats by Stoke, Manchester United and Palace cast new doubt over their survival chances.