Friday 19 January 2018

'So you’re suggesting I made a fool of myself?' Nigel Pearson says sorry for rant - then gets involved in a fresh war-of-words

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson
The Leicester City manager, Nigel Pearson, tangles with the Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur

Nigel Pearson was today involved in another explosive war-of-words with a journalist – but the Leicester City manager did apologise to the reporter who he called an ‘ostrich’ last night.

The 51-year-old stirred a broth of controversy following the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea after berating journalist Ian Baker for 'burying his head in the sand' over criticism of his squad.

Pearson’s apology, however, was overshadowed by the questioning of the BBC's Pat Murphy.

The Leicester boss opened his press conference, ahead of the clash with Newcastle United this weekend, by addressing Baker directly: “Ian, as you’re here. I apologise. I think it is right to do it in front of the cameras. I hope it doesn’t ruin our relationship.”

Broadcasting veteran Murphy seemed unsatisfied on behalf of the media industry with his brief admission, however, and took Pearson to task.

The former Southampton and Hull City boss was clearly striving not to take the bait.

 “I think you’re looking on your side of the argument with rose-tinted spectacles. I don’t see why I have to continue taking your one-sided view of this.”

His charge sheet is inescapable. First he told an abusive Foxes fan to ‘f*** off and die’.

Then he grappled with James McArthur on the sidelines before taking aim at club vice-president Gary Lineker. It wasn’t long before another journalist was being labelled a ‘pr***’.

Is he concerned, Murphy continued, that he has the worst collection of controversial incidents out of all the Premier League managers this term? “Not particularly, no.”

The fire was then stoked further as the questions started to suggest the Leicester boss was a ‘bully’ and ‘paranoid’.

“Am I? Oh paranoid,” Pearson replied, repeating the accusations. Murphy pressed on, querying if Pearson has been taken to one side by someone at the club to discuss his actions in the past.

The Leicester City manager, Nigel Pearson, tangles with the Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur

“If they have, then that’s my business. Are you suggesting that my job is to pander to you?”

That wasn’t nearly the end of the encounter, though, as Murphy continued to insist that members of the media have received Leicester’s first Premier League season in a decade positively.

But has he considered anger management after, as Murphy suggested, making a ‘fool’ of himself last night?

“Have you? So you’re suggesting I made a fool of myself? I think you’re looking in the wrong place. I do recognise when I have been out of order and I thought I was out of order last night. Thank you for coming.”

Read More: Nigel Pearson rant: 'I think you are an ostrich' - Leicester manager launches bizarre rant following defeat to Chelsea

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