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Reid questions Pearson public feud

Published 30/04/2015

Nigel Pearson has been criticised for calling a journalist
Nigel Pearson has been criticised for calling a journalist "an ostrich"

Former Premier League boss Peter Reid has questioned Leicester boss Nigel Pearson for his decision to apologise to a journalist in public.

Pearson was branded a bully for a bizarre press conference in which he labelled a journalist "an ostrich", 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."

Pearson apologised at his team's pre-match press conference on Thursday - although shortly after he got into another verbal joust with a different journalist.

Former Sunderland boss Reid told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I know Nigel as well as anybody - he's such an amiable character and a good chap. Whether it's pressure I don't know - but he certainly didn't come across great.

"I've given it to plenty of reporters face to face and they've given me it back - and I think that's healthy.

"But I like to do it personally. When it's personal, face to face, you get your point across much better."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has defended Pearson , who earlier in the season 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.

He said: "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.

"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."

Newcastle head coach John Carver, who was at Wednesday night's game and who takes his team to Leicester on Saturday, also had a great deal of sympathy for Pearson.

When asked whether he understood the rant, Carver said: "Absolutely. He's exactly the same as me. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I can understand he loses his temper with a journalist because it is sometimes frustrating.

"They (Leicester) did extremely well against a top side and it's a bit unfair, the criticism he got last night. He doesn't deserve that. He's done an excellent job.

"Four games ago they weren't in with a chance of staying up, and he's deserves a lot of credit because they were dead and buried. He's turned that around."

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