Nigel Pearson, the manager of Championship club Leicester City has admitted that although his side is in brilliant physical shape as they start the new season of football, the key to be successful this campaign will be to remain mentally tough throughout the season and focus solely on the challenges in front.
The Foxes finished their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of lowly Notts County but bounced back to defeat Middlesbrough 2-1 in their first match of the Championship campaign over the weekend. And Pearson has admitted that the challenges lying ahead for the club are tough and the only way to overcome those challenges is by turning their ability with the football into victories and for that to happen, the players need a level of mental toughness.
Pearson mentioned that in terms of fitness, the Leicester City players are absolutely fine, but admitted that it is almost amazing how much harder and further one can run if one is in a good nick mentally. He mentioned that he will have to wait till the start of the season to get an idea of that though.
Pearson is adamant that it is what holds the key to success. He added that one can have all the ability in the world but the foundation for success is laid by the commitment and the desire to make things happen, even when the going gets tough. He stated that sometimes, teams have to tough it out and many teams have been found wanting in that area at various times in their seasons.
And Pearson believes with the players he has and the kind of pre-season training they have had, there is no reason Leicester City cannot mount another challenge to reach the Premier League directly or through the play-offs.
It is the time of the year when Wigan are at their best. The Premier league strugglers have been perennially involved in a relegation battles ever since being promoted to the top flight more than eight years ago. They are once again involved in a relegation battle for the 2012-13 season as well. Wigan will be having several matches against teams in and around them in the table. As a result, there is a feeling at the DW stadium that they will be able to pull off a great escape once again. They will be hosting Norwich city during the weekend.
This is seen as yet another opportunity for Roberto Martinez’ men to take three points given that the match will be at the DW stadium. Norwich come into the encounter relatively safe from the threat of relegation. Yet, Chris Hughton has spoken about the importance of finishing the season strongly. His team has taken this four points from the last four matches. They are seven points above Wigan in the table. Hughton has praised the way Wigan have been playing in recent weeks. He has said that there is every chance that Martinez may be able to repeat the great escape once again.
There are eight matches remaining in the Premier league. “It has to be about us. We have to go with the same approach as we did at Sunderland in our last match and give ourselves every chance of winning the football game. You just hope they don’t have a good day. As a footballing team they are an excellent side. Defensively, they have had some difficulties and without that they wouldn’t be in the position they are in now because their form at times has been good,” said Hughton. Norwich recently announced the signing of a new striker.
The defender of Leicester City, Ritchie De Laet, has said that his team is still in the race of promotion to the Premier League.
Leicester City has performed poorly off late and has managed to get just one point from the last three games. The recent poor performances have taken Leicester to no. 5 from no. 2 in the points table. But, with a handful of matches still to be played, Laet believes that his team will make a strong comeback and will eventually end up in top 3.
Talking to the reporters ahead of Leicester’s match against Blackburn Rovers, Laet said, “Tomorrow’s game is very important for us. We need to get back to top form as soon as possible. There is not much time left and if we have to finish in top 3, we will have to play top quality football in the remaining games.”
“Things can turn around quickly in this competition. You look at Blackburn Rovers. They were right at the bottom of the points table a few weeks ago. They won a few matches and now, they are at a decent position in the points table.”
“We can also do what Blackburn has done, but, for that, we need to have self belief. We shouldn’t get demoralized at this stage. We should go out there and play our natural game. That’s the only way we can bounce back. If we keep thinking about our performance in the last three games, that will affect our performance in the upcoming games. We need to play with free mind.”
Blackburn Rovers have lost only one out of their last eight matches and Laet admitted that defeating Blackburn would not be easy. The Belgian defender said, “Blackburn has been in great form off late. So, beating them won’t be that easy. They are high in confidence and they will play with attacking approach. We will give our 100% and hopefully, will end up getting three points.”
Ritchie De Laet has said that Leicester City will have to improve its performance on the home soil. In its last two home games, Leicester City has managed to grab just one point.
Talking to the reporters ahead of Leicester City’s match against Huddersfield Town, De Laet said, “At the beginning of the season, we performed brilliantly in the home matches and people started calling King Power Stadium our fortress. But, I am afraid that the King Power Stadium will lose this status if we continue to perform poorly in the home games.”
In its last two away games against Hull City and Burnley, Leicester City performed quite well and secured four points from those two matches. The match against Hull City ended in a goalless draw, while, Leicester defeat Burnley by a close margin of 1-0.
When asked about Leicester’s performance in the last two games, De Laet said, “We had lost two matches consecutively before the match against Hull City and we were under a bit of pressure. But, by grabbing 4 points from the last couple of games, we are back on the right path.”
“We have defended brilliantly in the Championship so far. There are not too many goals scored against us in the ongoing season. We have kept clean sheets in 10 matches which is the most by any team in the ongoing Championship. It means that the defenders are doing their job well and it reduces the pressure from the strikers as well. When your defense is in such great form, you know you only have to score once and your team will be home.”
When asked about the upcoming match against Huddersfield, De Laet said, “We had defeated them when we had faced them last time around. But, they are a dangerous side and they will be looking for the revenge. But, hopefully, we would continue the form that we have shown in the last two games and would walk away with three points from that match.”
The defender of Leicester City, Ritchie De Laet, has said that the performance of his side in the previous match against Leeds United was really disappointing, but, the players have put that defeat out of their heads now and are read to have a crack at Derby in the next match.
In its previous match, Leicester was defeated by Leeds United by 1-0. Because of that defeat, Leicester moved down to no. 4 in the Championship points table. Leicester currently has 33 points in 19 matches.
Talking to the reporters ahead of the match against Derby, De Laet said, “We didn’t play that well in our last match, but, it was only a bad day, nothing else. We are not going to put up a similar kind of performance in every match. That match is history now and the team is up for the next game. If Derby comes into the match thinking that we are going perform poorly again, then, they would make a big mistake.”
“In the previous match, we didn’t manage to have a good start and struggled throughout the match and it happens sometimes, when, you play in such a long tournament. But, it’s not going to happen every day, that’s for sure.”
“We were disappointed after the match against Leeds United because we had won the previous couple of games convincingly and we wanted to continue the winning streak.”
Leicester’s performance on the home soil has been phenomenal in the ongoing season. When asked about that, De Laet said, “We feel less pressure on our home ground. The crowd gets right behind us which puts pressure on our opponents.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters. They have been fantastic in the ongoing season. They have turned up in big numbers in every match and that’s really incredible.”
Leicester City’s Thai owners have said that there is no truth to the rumours that they are about to sack the manager Nigel Pearson. The rumours about Nigel Pearson losing his job have emerged in the last couple of days, which have shocked the Thai owners. They have said that the rumours surrounding the manager are extremely unwarranted and inaccurate to say the least. Leicester City did not have the best of starts to the new season after they managed to lose the first three away matches of the season. However, since then, they have started climbing up the table and are currently in the second position.
Recent media reports, though, suggested that the club would be willing to part ways with the manager in order to bring in the former Tottenham man Harry Redknapp, who is currently available after being sacked by Tottenham in the summer. It was not long ago that Harry Redknapp was spoken of as the next England manager, but he has never expressed his intentions to take up a new challenge in his career. Getting teams promoted from the Championship is certainly not new to the former Bournemouth manager. The Championship club Leicester City, though, have categorically denied such rumours.
“Nigel has and continues to retain our total support. Since our arrival in Leicester, it has always been our stated aim to deliver a long term sustainable platform for success. Given the recent unwarranted and inaccurate speculation in relation to our manager, we wish to set the record straight in the most unequivocal manner. Nigel has and continues to retain our total support in helping us to deliver our stated long-term aim of achieving footballing success,” said a statement on the official website of the club. The owners have clearly stated that promotion to the Premier league is the target this season.
The latest Leicester City signing Ritchie De Laet has said that he is very much looking forward to the start of the new season and is under no illusion that it will be easy. The former Manchester United defender recently made his move to the Championship club permanent after many seasons of spending time on loan at various clubs including Leicester City. He is expected to be a major factor towards the push for promotion from the club. Leicester City were heavily expected to be challenging for promotion spot last time around, but the expected push never came.
They are once again the favourites for promotion this time around as well due to the heavy spending, but Ritchie De Laet reckons that it will certainly not be easy and that the club should focus only on getting the pre-season right. One of the reasons for Ritchie De Laet thinking that the Championship season this time around will be tough is due to the presence of Premier league teams, who have only been recently relegated from the top division. Clubs like Bolton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Blackpool are still expected to have a huge pile of cash injection from the parachute payments.
“The three clubs that came down – Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves – are big clubs, plus you’ve got the likes of Blackpool, Cardiff, Middlesbrough and all the other sides that are up there time and time again, including Hull and Ipswich. So it is going to be a tough year for everyone in the Championship and competition for not just automatic promotion, but the play-off places as well is going to be fierce. I don’t think that the ‘favourites’ tag will bother the lads too much because they played with that on their shoulders last season,” De Laet told Sky Sports.
Leicester City were one of the clubs favourites to finish in the top six of the table, but they managed to miss out on the play-offs in the final few months of the campaign. However, they have already begun the rebuilding job in order to target promotion next season.
As a result, they have already announced the signings of two new players, who will be a key part of their promotion bid next season. They have signed Manchester United defender Ritchie De Laet on a permanent deal, while they have also secured the signings of Matty James.
Ritchie De Laet is a 23-year-old defender who has a lot of experience playing in the Championship, while Matty James is a 20-year-old English midfielder, who will provide a lot of craft to the team. Leicester City have announced that both these players will be coming to the club on a three-year contract. Ritchie De Laet has spent many seasons on loan at Norwich, Sheffield United, Portsmouth, and Preston. He has been part of the Manchester United team in only six first-team matches since signing for the club back in 2009. Matty James is a former England under 19 captain, who is yet to feature in the first team for Manchester United.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has said that he is extremely happy with the signings he has made in the summer. He expects both Ritchie and Matthew to play a major role for the club next season. ‘Ritchie and Matthew are both players we have been monitoring for some time and we are very pleased to be able to bring them both to the club. Both are hungry, young players with winning mentalities, experience of Championship football and a desire to be successful,’ said Nigel Pearson on the official website of the club.
On loan Manchester United defender Ritchie de Laet is a major doubt for Norwich City’s trip to Manchester City. Norwich will be making a trip to the League leaders, and manager Paul Lambert would have been hoping for a full strength team to take on the League leaders. However, he may have to do without the services of Ritchie de Laet, who has been in excellent form this season. The only for Paul Lambert, though, will be the return of Zak Whitbread to first-team action. Manchester City have been in excellent form this season, and they have been exceptionally strong at home.
So far, they have won all their home matches, with the four dropped points all coming in the away matches. Hence, Norwich need to be extremely aware of the fact that they can be picked apart if they are concentrating enough on the match. Ritchie de Laet will be missing the match against the arch rivals of his parent club – Manchester United – due to a back problem. Norwich can consider even a draw to be a major success given the way Manchester City have been performing at home this season. The return of Zak Whitbread, though, will be doing some way into consoling Paul Lambert from the fact that Ritchie de Laet is missing for the match.
Zak Whitbread injured himself in the early stages of the season in the match against Chelsea, and the match against Manchester City will be one of his first since returning from injury. The match against Manchester City may come a little too soon for another defender Daniel Ayala. Norwich, though, can take heart from the fact that they have a number of players returning back from injury, the most important among them will be Elliott Ward, who has started training.