Monday 19 March 2018

Pearson wants no more slip-ups

Nigel Pearson's men travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday
Nigel Pearson's men travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday

Boss Nigel Pearson insists Leicester have no margin for error in their relegation fight as they aim to close the gap to safety.

The Foxes go to West Brom on Saturday bottom of the Barclays Premier League and six points adrift from the survival line.

A 2-1 win over West Ham last weekend gave them a first victory in nine league games and ended a run of just two points from a possible 24.

But with eight games left Pearson knows that they cannot afford any further slip ups.

"Our form has to take that upward trend in terms of results. We don't really have a buffer to fall back on, we have to perform here on in," he said at his pre-match press conference.

"The players have dealt with an awful lot of disappointment but strived to get the performances. That has been the case for the majority of the season. What we have to do now is change those performances into wins.

"People tell me about other people's run-ins but you will survive or not due to your own results.

"We have to keep it in our hands for as long as possible and we need to win more games. That's the reality of the situation but we're capable of it."

Leicester still have to play relegation rivals Burnley and Sunderland and host QPR on the final day, giving Pearson hope.

He said: "We have to play a lot of sides around us. It's nice to have games where we can directly affect their end to the season but the flip side is they will see it the same way.

"It depends how those fixtures go, you win those and the picture changes. What we have to do is manage the swings in mood which will be in the public domain.

"You win a game or lose a game and there's a shift in terms of how people perceive it."

Matt Upson (Achilles) and Dean Hammond (calf) are back in training and are available for the trip to The Hawthorns, where Pearson spent time as coach between 2004 and 2006.

The Baggies are holding Jeff Astle Day to honour their former striker and raise awareness for the Jeff Astle Foundation. Former Albion striker Astle died in 2002 aged 59 from a brain condition normally linked to boxing after heading heavy leather footballs during his career.

And while Pearson believes it is a fine cause he insisted the Foxes cannot get caught up in the day.

He said: "In many ways it's for recognition for an outstanding player and person who has achieved an awful lot for the football club.

"It's great West Brom have decided to make an occasion to celebrate Jeff Astle's contribution and raise awareness of these types of head injury issues.

"But for us, unfortunately, we have to recognise we are part of the day but our own plight is the most important thing.

"What we can't do is get carried away in the occasion."

Press Association

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