By Tony Leighton
With a club record eight straight league wins, an eight-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship and promotion looming ever closer, these are exciting times at Leicester City. But don't expect manager Nigel Pearson to go overboard.
The Foxes boss is only too mindful of last season's attempt to reach the Premier League. Second in the table at the end of January after winning four games in a row, they ended the campaign in sixth place and lost to Watford in the Play-Off Semi-Final.
"Whether you want to talk about what happened last year and whether that's an added incentive, well, I can't speak for all the players, but there's a real desire to achieve this year," said Pearson after Tuesday night's 2-1 win at Birmingham City.
"If you speak to the players they are very focused on trying to achieve the goals that we set out to do, which is clearly to get promotion. The chemistry within the squad is good, I've said that on many occasions this year.
"I think we are better equipped to deal with disappointment as well. The reason for that, I suppose, is that we've got more experienced players within the group. The blend is better. And I think we've got a bit more quality this year too."
Pearson's team certainly showed their quality at St. Andrew's, where he believed the first half display was incredibly encouraging.
The Foxes boss said: "That was the best 45 minutes we've had this season. I think our all-round performance tonight was very, very good."
The result not only left Leicester eight points clear of second-placed Queens Park Rangers but also 11 points above the Play-Off positions and a massive 23 points clear of the teams hovering just below the top six.
"It's a really important result for us," added Pearson. On breaking the club record of consecutive league wins he insisted: "We haven't really spoken too much about it. I think the players are aware of it. It's an added plus that we've been able to do that.
"I think to win eight games on the trot is very difficult in any league, and it's such a tough thing to do in this division. So I think the players have to take an awful lot of credit for their ability to win different types of games.
"In this league in particular you have to be able to scrap and be resilient, but I think we showed tonight that we are very capable of playing good football."
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