Leicester forced to deny Pearson sacking

Ross McLean
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Pearson and McArthur clashed on Saturday
LEICESTER were last night forced to deny that manager Nigel Pearson had been sacked after hours of speculation suggesting the Foxes boss was set to be fired.

The news of his departure came a day after a bizarre touchline altercation in which the 51-year-old held Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur by the throat during his side’s 1-0 defeat.

Leicester currently lie at the foot of the Premier League after a third straight loss and the 15th of a difficult season, although the club moved to confirm Pearson will be in charge for tomorrow’s trip to face Arsenal.

“Contrary to media speculation on Sunday evening, Nigel remains the club’s first team manager,” read a club statement. “Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and without foundation.

“Nigel, his staff and the first team squad are entirely focused on Tuesday night’s trip to Arsenal and our continued efforts to secure our position in the Premier League.”

The clash with McArthur started when the midfielder fell into Pearson and appeared playful at first but ended with the Foxes boss tugging the players’ shirt as he tried to return to the pitch.

Pearson is not expected to face disciplinary action from the Football Association over the incident, the latest episode in a turbulent campaign for the former Southampton boss, who was banned for one game and fined £10,000 in December for an altercation with a supporter.