Martin O'Neill confident Leicester City will go up this season
Former Leicester City manager Martin O'Neill has backed his former club to win promotion back to the Premier League this season.
O'Neill took City to three League Cup finals, winning two, and cemented them in the top 10 of the Premier League during his reign.
He believes that, with manager Nigel Pearson, who was yesterday crowned Championship manager of the month, and the backing of the club's owners, City have a great chance of returning to the top flight.
"It would be terrific this year if they did it," said O'Neill during a break from warm-weather training with Sunderland in Dubai.
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"I know they have everything behind them, and an excellent manager and a strong side.
"We played them in pre-season and, while you can't make any great judgements in pre-season, they looked a strong squad.
"If they can avoid serious injuries to key players, I know the Championship is a very long season, but they look like they have the ability and wherewithal to do it.
"It would be great to see them back."
O'Neill said he has fond memories of his five years in charge at City between 1995 and 2000.
"My old haunt was Filbert Street and those days were fantastic," he said. "Those days will never come back because Filbert Street isn't there anymore.
"I had great days there and enjoyed it immensely. It is a great old club."
Pearson was given the manager of the month award for January after City won four consecutive games, scoring 13 goals and conceding just two, as they surged into second spot in the table.
But striker Chris Wood was beaten to player of the month award by Watford's Matej Vydra, despite scoring five goals in January, including a hat-trick in the 4-0 victory at Bristol City.
Czech striker Vydra started three games in the Championship and scored twice in each of them as Watford boosted their own promotion credentials.
Speaking about Pearson's win, panel member Alan Curbishley said: "It's been a fantastic month for Nigel Pearson with Leicester City winning all of their games, while also scoring freely.
"They are now in a great position as we approach the business end of the season."