Thursday 14 November 2019

Pearson dreams of an easy life

Nigel Pearson has guided Leicester to the brink of safety in the Barclays Premier League this season
Nigel Pearson has guided Leicester to the brink of safety in the Barclays Premier League this season

Nigel Pearson wants to avoid the "worst pressure ever" as Leicester close in on their own Great Escape.

The Foxes will survive at Sunderland on Saturday and complete a remarkable survival mission if Hull fail to match their result at Tottenham.

Friday marked 10 years since Pearson was involved in the first Houdini act when West Brom became the first team to beat the drop in the Premier League after being bottom at Christmas.

He was assistant to Bryan Robson at The Hawthorns as the Baggies survived on the final day with a 2-0 win over Portsmouth.

Sunderland themselves achieved it last season and with Leicester on the brink of repeating it Pearson wants to seal survival without any late slip-ups.

"It's the worst pressure ever when you need to win games and also hoping things go your way elsewhere," he said.

"That is not nice. So one of the things we have been working very hard to do is hoping it stays in our own hands.

"To do that you have to get enough good results but we have managed to do that. We will be doing everything we can to make sure it's the right result for ourselves."

The Foxes have won six of their last seven games in a stunning run of form to climb off the bottom of the table and rise to 15th.

They are three points above third-bottom Hull with a better goal difference and are set to emulate West Brom's achievement.

The Baggies stayed up on 'Survival Sunday', sending Southampton, Norwich and Crystal Palace down despite starting the day bottom.

Pearson recalls the pressure on boss Robson during the survival battle and admitted it was difficult to watch.

"I remember when we played Manchester United in the penultimate game of the season," he said.

"The early results had put us under pressure, we needed something at Manchester United. We got a 1-1 draw. It was a tough day but we managed to get into the last day with a mathematical chance.

"Those sort of pressures, when you watch someone you know well having to endure them, it's quite hard, it's tough.

"Bryan was the manager, he takes more pressure than the assistant. It was interesting for me to see it from a different perspective.

"It will be interesting for me to observe myself I'm sure. I'm not sure what I'd make of myself.

"You need balance and as a manager you need somebody who at least has an understanding of the personality. I'm very lucky to have members of staff who manage to manage me."

Pearson will be without attacking midfielder Matty James, who could be out until next year after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage.

Striker David Nugent (calf) is also sidelined but midfielder Andy King will return to the squad following a hamstring injury.

PA Media

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