Pearson keeps the faith


Published: Monday 1st December 2014 by The News Editor

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Boss Nigel Pearson insists he will keep faith with his Leicester side despite slipping to the bottom of the table.

The Foxes hosts Liverpool on Tuesday after Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at QPR left them propping up the Barclays Premier League.

But Pearson remains positive as the Foxes search for their first win in nine games.

He said: “We’re in a position we don’t want to be in of course. I think there is a temptation to look too negatively but the game in isolation at the weekend we could have done lots of good things.

“We have lost another game and need to rectify it pretty quickly. It’s a good game for us.

“It comes quickly after the last game, we’ve not had many midweek games this season. Preparation is slightly different from normal. The players are used to playing back-to-back games through being in the Championship.”

David Nugent is a doubt with a sore calf and ankle while Dean Hammond and Matt Upson are set to miss out with calf and ankle injuries respectively.

Liverpool have stuttered this season, sitting 11th, and Pearson is eager to add to Brendan Rodgers’ woes at the King Power Stadium.

He said: “It’s against another very big club who had a superb season last year.

“They’ve not replicated that so far. It’s still the type of fixture that players and fans are looking forward to.

“Things are pretty tight, we find ourselves at the bottom but the only team who will get us out of it are ourselves. They will know we can be a potential threat to them.”

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will have to accept he has a reduced role to play at the club if he agrees to extend his stay beyond the end of his current contract.

The midfielder’s existing deal runs out in the summer, by which time he will be 35, and while an offer of new terms on what is believed to be a one-year deal has been made the player is still mulling over his decision.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said Gerrard has earned the right to take his time over his next move and insists the pair have had honest conversations about what the future holds for him in the team.

The midfielder has featured in every Premier League match this season but Saturday’s victory over Stoke, when he was left on the bench until the final 20 minutes, was the first time he had not played the 90 minutes.

Gerrard was also left on the bench for Liverpool’s visit to Real Madrid in the Bernabeu last month and Rodgers admits that is something he will have to get used to if he is to remain at Anfield beyond this season.

“He’s at the stage of his career where it’s not so much the number of games he plays now, it’s about the level of the game – and that’s something I’ll always work with him and we’ll look at,” said the Reds boss.

“No matter how good a player has been, once they’re coming towards those final years of their career, then of course as a manager, you’re having to taper that in where you think you can get the best out of the player.

“He’s still a wonderful player. I’m sitting here talking about a player that has still got world-class talent, but of course, when you get that little bit older and maybe physically it’s not quite the same, you have to manage that.

“It is managing the period of life he is in. That’s just purely the case of where we’re at.”

Gerrard could return to the starting line-up for Tuesday’s trip to bottom side Leicester as Liverpool look to maintain winning ways and keep back-to-back clean sheets in the league for the first time since March.

The decision Rodgers has is where to play him as Lucas Leiva has done a decent-enough job starting the last two matches against Stoke and Ludogorets, in the Champions League, in the defensive midfield role Gerrard has been occupying the last 18 months.

Gerrard has operated in an advanced position behind striker Rickie Lambert in his last two appearances and with the manager trying to ensure greater solidity in his side that may be an option again.

“Steven was a player who could orchestrate attacks from deep, with the players we had up front, his quality could exploit that,” added Rodgers.

“The dynamic up front has changed so I have to think of a restructure so we look at a different type of midfielder to come in.

“Lucas is aggressive but can also attack. Ludogorets, Stoke – he’s been excellent. It’s been a great credit to him and his professionalism.”

Published: Monday 1st December 2014 by The News Editor

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