Foxes boss applauds Town's loyalty

LEICESTER City boss, Nigel Pearson, has praised Ipswich Town for sticking by Roy Keane.Pearson knows only too well the precarious nature of football management, following his short three-month reign at Southampton during the second half of the 2007-08 season.

Carl Marston

by Carl Marston

LEICESTER City boss, Nigel Pearson, has praised Ipswich Town for sticking by Roy Keane.

Pearson knows only too well the precarious nature of football management, following his short three-month reign at Southampton during the second half of the 2007-08 season.

The 46-year-old saved the Saints from relegation at the end of that season, ironically at the expense of his current club Leicester, only to then lose his job a few weeks later with Dutch coach Jan Poortvliet recruited as his replacement at St Marys.

But Pearson has proved his doubters wrong. While his old club Southampton were slumping to relegation to League One last term, he was busy masterminding Leicester's return to the Championship as champions.

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That is why Pearson believes that Town were right to have shown loyalty in Keane, even though the Portman Road club were rock bottom of the Championship in October.

"It was nice to see that the club (Ipswich) was patient and have given Roy time to get things right on the pitch," insisted Pearson, in the build-up to tomorrow's game against Town.

"We have seen elsewhere that is not necessarily the case. That is the industry we are working in, I am afraid.

"But Ipswich have come into some decent form now and have been rewarded for that patience.

"They obviously had a very slow start, but they have had a good run of late and are much more difficult to beat.

"They have probably drawn too many games for their liking and their form has been much improved. I fully expect it to a very difficult game."

Pearson has guided Leicester to fifth spot in the Championship, and they have won their last three games on the bounce to be genuine promotion contenders.

Keane, meanwhile, has gradually turned things around at Ipswich. They are currently three points clear of the relegation zone and could stretch that to six points, if tomorrow's game cheats the wintry weather and Keane's men secure a third win on the bounce.

Leicester are confident that the game will go ahead. The pitch is playable, and the roads around the Walkers Stadium have been well gritted. The only danger is some bad weather on the day.

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