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Nigel Pearson: Leicester City deserve more credit

7 April 2014

Nigel Pearson believes Leicester City deserve more credit for the way they have built a promotion-winning squad.

The Foxes, who beat Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, secured a return to the Premier League after a decade-long absence the following afternoon after defeats for QPR and Derby.

The East Midlands club have been branded 'big-spending Leicester' since the takeover by King Power International in August 2010 after the initial outlay on players during Sven Goran Eriksson's time in charge, which saw the arrival of expensive signings such as Matt Mills, Darius Vassell, John Pantsil and Jermaine Beckford.

That perception was reinforced last month when the club's latest financial report showed losses of £34million.

But since Pearson's return for a second spell as manager in November 2011 Leicester's approach has been much more prudent.

The introduction of Financial Fair Play (FFP) has meant it has had to be but in those two and a half years Pearson has worked hard to get the big-earners off the wage bill and streamline the playing squad to around 25 players, which includes academy products Adam Smith and Tom Hopper.

And the Foxes' financial report showed a profit of £800,000, on top of the £600,000 for the previous period, on player trading and a reduction in the wage bill of £1.6million.

Pearson said: " People want to talk about this season in isolation, but it is not actually about that. It is about what has been done over the last two and a half years.

"There is a lot of talk about what has happened in the past here and the money that has been spent, but the way we have achieved what we have has been comparably low-key.

" One of the biggest jobs, and the hardest jobs, when you take over a club is to get rid of what you don't want, or what you don't need. It is difficult these days to offload those players - the players who don't have any value whether that is financially or to the team.

"And I don't think we have quite had the credit as a club for doing it in the way we have done it.

"We worked very hard to develop a squad capable of challenging at the top of the division and I think now we have a very efficient side with a lot of talent and the capability to improve. Whether we fulfil that potential or not remains to be seen.

"That is how I see it anyway but, unless you shout it from the rooftops yourselves, it seems that people don't really want to talk about that."

Leicester lead the Championship by nine points over second-placed Burnley with six matches remaining and will look to take another step toward clinching the title when they host Brighton on Tuesday night.

Pearson is already fully focused on ensuring that the Foxes will go up as champions.

He added: "Everyone associated with the club deserved to enjoy it over the weekend, but it is back to work now. We want to win the league.

"To secure promotion with six games remaining is a great achievement, but we want to see the job through properly.

"We are back to work now and ready to focus on a tough game against a very good side."

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