LONDON (Reuters) – Leicester City said Nigel Pearson will remain in charge for Tuesday’s trip to Arsenal following widespread speculation the under-pressure manager had been sacked by the Premier League’s bottom-placed side.
A 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday, where Pearson grabbed visiting midfielder James McArthur by the throat in a bizarre sideline spat, had brought an end to the manager’s second spell in charge, British media widely reported on Sunday.
The Guardian, among others, added that Pearson also believed he had been axed only for the club to release a short statement late on Sunday night to rubbish the claims.
“Nigel remains the Club’s First Team Manager. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and without foundation,” the struggling club said.
“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 Barclays Premier League.”
Leicester have 17 points from 24 games and are four points adrift of the safety zone. They have won only two of their last 19 league matches and face Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City following the Arsenal fixture.
Poor form from the team has been coupled by sideline antics by Pearson.
Two months after receiving a one-match touchline ban and fine for arguing with one of his team’s supporters, Pearson has come under scrutiny again after Saturday’s incident.