Belfast Telegraph

Pearson thinks bigger

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson admits he will be aiming higher than just surviving again in the Barclays Premier League next season.

The Foxes thumped QPR 5-1 at home on the final day of the season to complete an amazing recovery by taking 22 points from the last 27 on offer and secure a 14th-placed finish.

However, Pearson says he does not want the club to be involved in a similar relegation battle next season.

"Let's keep the celebrations in context," Pearson said after his side had completed a seventh win in nine league games with their biggest victory of the season.

"It's a fabulous achievement but I wouldn't want to be looking at avoiding relegation as a target to aspire to.

"The two clubs (QPR and Burnley) who come up with us have been relegated, so it's clearly a difficult transition to make.

"I'm a big believer in setting targets which are going to stretch people but I have also got a sense of realism about them.

"Finishing 14th wouldn't have been believable a couple of months ago but we'll see how we add to squad and progress next year."

Pearson was delighted with a performance in which five different players - Jamie Vardy, Marc Albrighton, Leonardo Ulloa, Esteban Cambiasso and Andrej Kamaric - all found themselves on the scoresheet.

"Having assured our status last week there was an element of whether we could rise to the occasion," Pearson said.

"I wouldn't say the intensity was there but we played with a ruthless edge and it was important to finish on a good note.

"We've proved in the last nine games that we are capable of being very effective and getting results.

"It has been a steep learning curve for everyone connected with the club and the squad that did not have a lot of Premier League experience at the start of the season.

"But they can draw on their experiences, good and bad, and now we must plan and develop the squad."

Rangers manager Chris Ramsey felt the defeat summed up the story of their miserable season as they were condemned to bottom spot.

"It was very disappointing as some of our defending was schoolboy and we weren't able to capitalise on the few chances we had at crucial points of the game," Ramsey said.

"That has probably been the story of our season, we didn't take our chances at 2-0 and then the game goes away from you.

"I thought there was a pride in the performance, in the effort but not the quality.

"That's the reason we're in this position, we do good things but then undo it it with lack of concentration.

"We had quite a young bench and that is something that needs to be looked at as we only had one senior sub in Junior Hoilett.

"The players who turned out gave what they had and they've been doing that all season, but in the end quality tells."


From Belfast Telegraph