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Pearson praises table-toppers

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson admitted that toil and sweat rather than flee-flowing football had kept his side top of the Sky Bet Championship table.

Last Updated: 02/01/14 at 08:51 Post Comment

Nigel Pearson: Praised his side's hard work

Nigel Pearson: Praised his side's hard work

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The Foxes made it four league wins in a row for the first time this season as Anthony Knockaert, David Nugent and Jeff Schlupp all were on the scoresheet in a 3-1 win at Millwall, achieved in tough conditions in south London.

Richard Chaplow was the hosts' scorer - his first goal for a club who are still without a manager since the sacking of Steve Lomas.

But it was not enough and Pearson's troops stay top of the table to kick off 2014 in fine fashion.

He said: "The important thing is we try and build on the first half of the season and if you're going to have any success you've got to win in different ways.

"We've had good wins recently in a footballing sense, but the conditions today meant we couldn't do so much passing. There were a lot of mistakes, but the players showed a lot of strength.

"From our perspective it was good to show we can win a physical game. We made heavy weather of it in the second half but that was as much down to Millwall's approach.

"It's certainly better to be at the top than not, but it's always going to be tight. There are a lot of good sides.

"It's a tough ask to be consistently good. We found that out last year when we had an awful run through February and March, which probably cost us promotion."

Since Lomas' departure Neil Harris and academy director Scott Fitzgerald have taken temporary charge of the Lions.

Harris was full of praise for his side's performance, despite the defeat that puts them 21st in the table, only one point clear of the relegation zone.

"I'm disappointed for my players. I thought they were fantastic from the first minute to the last," he said.

"Everything that was asked of them they have done. I thought we were better than the best team in the league.

"I thought (the referee) got two decisions wrong for two goals. Looking back now, there are clearly two fouls.

"The Knockaert challenge on Lee Martin in the run-up to the third goal was clearly a foul, and the tackle on Shane Lowry (by Gary Taylor-Fletcher) in the run-up to the first goal, which was always going to be crucial, was a foul as well.

"Myself and Scott will keep going until we are told otherwise and the board find the right man.

"The biggest thing for me is that I want the players to play with a bit of freedom and show what good players they are. I don't feel pressure for me or the club, I feel it for them, because I want them to enjoy playing here."

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