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Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 19:45

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Leicester boss calls for focus

Manager Nigel Pearson warned that runaway Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester cannot afford to lose focus in the final 13 games of the season.

Last Updated: 01/03/14 at 19:22 Post Comment

Nigel Pearson: Wants Leicester to maintain their focus

Nigel Pearson: Wants Leicester to maintain their focus

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After beating Charlton 3-0 at the King Power Stadium, City are eight points clear of Burnley in second place and 13 points ahead of Derby who are third.

Leicester boss Pearson said there could still be "set backs" along the way even though Charlton manager Chris Powell described the Foxes as "champions elect."

It was another comfortable and impressive win by Leicester, and it extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches.

The massive gulf in class between the two teams was clear from the moment Jamie Vardy gave City a ninth-minute lead with his 13th goal of the season and his sixth in the past nine games.

Charlton, apart from one breakaway attack that ended with Kasper Schmeichel saving Simon Church's lob, were never in it, and the biggest surprise was that the Foxes had not added to their lead by half-time.

But the second half was again one-way traffic, and in the 48th minute Danny Drinkwater hammered a shot into the roof of the net after Ben Hamer beat out a close-range attempt from David Nugent.

City's top scorer was not to be denied, however, and his precise 20-yard drive in the 64th minute gave City their third goal. It was Nugent's 19th goal of the season.

Only two brilliant saves by Hamer off Jeff Schlupp and Nugent prevented an even bigger defeat for Charlton, who remain deep in relegation danger. It was City's first win against Charlton in 11 league games in the past 14 years.

Pearson said: "On today's performance we played very well and showed that, as the side leading the table, we deserve to be there. But we have got 13 more games to go and 39 points to play for.

"It would be nice to do it ourselves and I think that the key to this season is that we we have always spoken about what we do ourselves rather than what other people do.

"We will try to keep that going but we may still get set-backs. But I would rather be in the position we are in than third and trying to ease a way into the top two. The dangers to us are a loss of form and people's desire to point to historical events like last season (when City had a bad run to drop out of the top two)

"The big danger is that you get side-tracked into losing focus on what we are able to do ourselves.

"I think we have a better squad this season and have a good balance within the squad. The focus of the players is very much on being successful. We have put ourselves into a good position and with 13 games to go. You have got to live in the moment and we want to try to win every game we play."

Powell said he believed they had been beaten by the "champions elect" but claimed the first goal was offside.

He said: "It has been a tough week for us and I suppose coming to the league leaders was not the fixture we would have wanted.

"They are a very good side and we have possibly played against the champions elect if they carry on the way they are playing. But I was disappointed about the first goal that was clearly offside and if we could have gone into half-time level that would have helped.

"But they scored an early goal in the second half and that had their tails up. Then really it was a question of making sure we came away from here with not a massive defeat and I suppose I've got to be happy with 3-0.

"We didn't have an eye on next Sunday's FA Cup tie against Sheffield United. We cannot afford to do that. We will focus on that this coming week. The target is to progress as far as we can in the cup and stay in the Championship."

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