Nigel Pearson says Leicester City's win over Middlesbrough was season-defining
Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson believes the victory over Middlesbrough could be season-defining.
City moved into the automatic promotion places after David Nugent's winner, coupled with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel's penalty save in added time, settled a close encounter between two promotion rivals.
Pearson was delighted with City's fourth consecutive league victory.
"We are very pleased, because I suppose games like these can define seasons," he said. "It could be season- defining if we win the next few games.
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"We've got a lot to do still but we have put ourselves in a good spot.
"When you win tight games like that it is very pleasing, especially when it's against a side like Boro.
"Their incentive was the same as ours, to go second in the league.
"You could argue a draw would have been fair but, all-in-all, with the number of chances we created – and we hit the woodwork on a number of occasions – we have to argue we deserved to win.
"It was important that we maintained what has been a positive run of results since Boxing Day.
"We have won a tight game against Boro. We've not been as flowing as we have been in other games but, as I have said before, there are times in the season when you have to win tight, scruffy games. We have probably not nicked enough of those games.
"I am pleased with the result, of course, but I am really pleased with how the players have applied themselves.
"I would have been even if they had scored the equaliser."
Pearson saluted Schmeichel's penalty stop to deny Marvin Emnes an equaliser for Boro and said the Dane deserved huge credit in a pressure situation.
"It was an important period of the game when we scored and for Kasper to make the save when he did makes a huge difference to how people perceived the night's work," he said.
"It was a pivotal moment. It wasn't a bad penalty, it was a great save. At that stage of the game you could see the lift it gave our players."