Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce has sympathy for Pearson

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes the Football Association were wrong to charge Leicester boss Nigel Pearson over his argument with a fan, and feels more can be done to stop tempers boiling over behind the dugout.

Pearson has accepted an FA charge of using insulting words towards a supporter but has requested a personal hearing. A video has emerged of the incident during his side's 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool on December 2.

The Foxes boss had refused to apologise for the altercation, which Allardyce, himself the target of boos from some West Ham supporters during a difficult spell last season, feels is now all too commonplace.

Allardyce, speaking ahead of Saturday's clash between the teams at Upton Park, said: "I think it is wrong, personally. I think he should get a warning about his future conduct, because he hasn't stepped out of line, but the FA are just as scared as everyone else about being politically correct.

"It depends on what position you are in at that moment in particular time and if somebody has baited you as much as that fella did (with Pearson) then if you get a reaction, you get a reaction.

"We are all human beings aren't we? When you lose your rag, what do you do? Do you stay calm? No, so we cannot be angels all the time in this badly politically correct world we have.

"This politically correct world drives you up the wall - we will be shutting the door too hard soon, it will make too big a noise for somebody and that will upset."

Allardyce believes clubs must be proactive in stamping out any abuse directed towards the technical area from the seating immediately behind.

"It is up the clubs and the security system at the football club," he said.

"I think Leicester's security let Nigel down because this lad was baiting him all the time, so they should have gone over, nipped him by the collar and pushed him out and said 'don't bother coming back here.' It is what Manchester United have been doing for years to stop anything like that happening.

"Fans are fans, up to a point, but if a manager turned around, pointed to a policeman and said 'look, this guy is doing this, I want you to arrest him', that will cause mayhem.

"Club security should look at that situation around where the dugout is and if somebody is being particularly, constantly verbally aggressive, then the security should take the fan away and say it is not acceptable behaviour."

While it remains to be seen what the outcome of Pearson's disciplinary case will be, Allardyce feels his former assistant coach during their time at Newcastle will emerge stronger from the saga.

Allardyce explained: "It is one isolated incident, I can't remember Nigel Pearson ever doing anything like that before. I worked with him at Newcastle for seven months and he is a guy who has got great morals and great standards.

"He takes those standards into the way he is managed since he left Newcastle, that is why the football clubs he has been at have been successful.

The Foxes are three points adrift at the foot of the Barclays Premier League after four successive defeats but Allardyce said: "Nigel has had a little blip and there is always a big fuss made about it - but it hasn't happened before and he probably regrets it, but you have got to move on."

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