Mercury Opinion: Get behind Pearson and his players
Leicester City go to Cardiff tonight with their season, and their promotion prospects, in the balance. Just over a month ago they were in second place in the Championship and looked as though they could grab an automatic promotion spot. Now, that not only looks like a forlorn hope, but they are in danger of slipping out of the play-off places. What on earth has happened?
This is the same side who spent much of the season playing exciting, winning football; who looked assured and bursting with an abundance of talent. Over the past few weeks, that confidence has drained away and they now look disjointed and nervous.
Inevitably, this has led to speculation about the future of manager Nigel Pearson. He came under similar pressure earlier in the season, following a shaky start to the campaign.
The club's owners reacted to that by issuing a statement backing him.
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Pearson says they remain supportive of him and his staff and he is unruffled by the latest speculation.
"I am always fending off questions about my future and I have been asked again. I think that is normal when you are a football manager," he said following his side's latest defeat against Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
Most fans also remain supportive of Pearson. There are, of course, a few who feel he should be replaced, but these voices appear isolated. And there was some booing at the end of Saturday's match from frustrated fans.
Even for those who are critical of Pearson, however, it would surely make no sense at all to sack him at this stage of the season with just 10 games left. And in the longer term we have argued over and over again in this column that what City most need is continuity. Pearson is a good manager and the club should stick with him whatever the outcome this season.
In the immediate future, the thing that City most need is support. The team are still in a play-off spot. A return to form would give them a great chance of promotion.
The players clearly need some confidence, however, and that is where the fans can really help. Let's all get behind them; cheer on every kick and every run, and cut out the booing.
This can still be a great season, but it is down to all of us to play a part.