Leicester City striker Jermaine Beckford told: Prove to me you're worthy
Jermaine Beckford has to prove he is worthy of a place in the Leicester City team, says manager Nigel Pearson.
The striker was omitted from City's 18-man squad for Sunday's victory against Hull at the King Power Stadium.
Beckford's exclusion sparked further speculation that he would soon be on his way out of City on loan.
Huddersfield have maintained their interest in the player, who they almost signed on loan during the transfer window only for City to stop Beckford's departure at the last minute.
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Beckford is one of City's top earners, but Pearson said that was not a consideration when he is picking his squad.
"Any players who are left out the side, the onus is on them to work hard to get back in there and other players have done more to warrant their places," said Pearson, who refused to be drawn on Beckford going out on loan.
"So, I'm not bothered whether they are perceived to be high-profile or youngsters, players have to earn their right to be in there.
"If players aren't selected, the onus is on them to respond. I don't care if they are senior players or young professionals.
"My job is to pick a side that is best for the club and the team, in terms of being able to produce results. Those who are not involved, it is up to them to work hard to get back in.
"I am not bothered if they are high earners or low earners, it doesn't interest me."
Pearson praised striker David Nugent, who started the season on the substitutes' bench as Beckford was initially preferred.
Nugent has worked his way back into the side and, a few days after scoring his first goal of the season in the victory against Burnley, he scored the first hat-trick of his career as City beat the Tigers 3-1 on Sunday.
"You have to have faith in the players you believe in," said Pearson. "He didn't start the season but, since he has been back in there, he has worked very hard.
"It is about winning games, and who scores the goals is irrelevant as far as I am concerned. But as far as strikers are concerned, in terms of their own confidence, they need to be scoring goals and getting chances."