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."

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."

On the clash at Upton Park, Allardyce accepts the visit of the struggling Foxes, without a win in 11 matches, will be key, given what other matches lie ahead.

"The most important thing is trying to get three points against Leicester because on paper, it is a more winnable game and we have got to focus and make sure that is the one we do win," he said.

"But it is only on paper because sooner or later, they will win a game.

"Nigel Pearson's team are so close to winning matches, they have just failed with their chances, but never really got hammered.

"So we have got make sure we are on song and not the ones that they turn the corner by gaining the victory against us."

David Nugent is set to return for Leicester after missing last week's defeat to Manchester City with a calf injury.

He will be assessed before the game while goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is out after breaking a metatarsal last week which will rule him out for at least five more weeks.

Matt Upson is close to a comeback after a long-standing foot injury but will not be risked as he returns to full fitness.

Pearson has eased fears over Leicester's transfer plans - despite the sacking of director of football Terry Robinson.

The Foxes acted this week after an 11 game winless run left them bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

Robinson has been replaced by academy director Jon Rudkin ahead of Saturday's vital trip to in-form West Ham.

Pearson is already hunting a goalkeeper after losing Schmeichel for at least six weeks with a broken foot but insisted he is not worried about the January window.

He said: "Whether it does or does not affect my transfer plans is irrelevant. We always work to get the outcomes we think are best for us and I remain very much a part it. We'll try and achieve the outcomes we're looking for.

"What happens internally at the club is important. There are certain questions that people have the right to know but I'm not the person to ask.

"I fully understand my sphere of influence in terms of my authority."

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