Pearson pleasantly surprised

  • Last Updated: April 23 2014, 8:27 BST

Manager Nigel Pearson never suspected that Leicester would run away with the Sky Bet Championship.

Nigel Pearson: Didn't expect such a successful campaign
Nigel Pearson: Didn't expect such a successful campaign

The Foxes have led the division since before Christmas and wrapped up title with two games to spare thanks to substitute Lloyd Dyer's spectacular second-half strike in a 1-0 win at Bolton on Tuesday night.

Pearson, the Championship's longest-serving manager, hardly expected that to be the case when he stuck with with the majority of the squad that suffered play-off heartache in a crazy contest at Watford last May.

Pearson's faith has been rewarded in full - and to the tune of 96 points so far - as a return to the Barclays Premier League was sealed for the first time in a decade.

That Leicester have done it as champions has shocked their boss, who was asked if he expected to be the dominant force this season after their 29th league win at Bolton.

"If I'm honest, no," he said.

"If you look at some of the other squads, teams that had come down from the Premier League and a number of the sides who were vying for play-off places and promotion last season - there's a lot of strong squads.

"There's been some strong sides but we've been able to take the disappointment from last season and really make that work for us. The players have shown a determination to mentally deal with the season.

"We have some very talented players and the more experienced players who have come in have done very, very well for us. Overall, it's probably a good advert for showing a bit of patience."

The Foxes were promoted earlier this month without kicking a ball when QPR and Derby both fell to defeat. This time, though, they were able to achieve the landmark of winning the title as a result of their own victory.

"It was nice to win It ourselves, especially having gained promotion when we didn't play," Pearson said.

Reading's promotion hopes were boosted by a 2-0 home win over Middlesbrough that moved them up to sixth in the table.

The damage was done inside the opening 15 minutes, through Adam Le Fondre and a George Friend own goal, and boss Nigel Pearson is pleased a play-off place is now within their grasp.

"Our destiny is in our own hands," Adkins said.

"We started well, got two great goals and played some good football. You saw the togetherness of the team.

"Middlesbrough are a good side so for me it's an excellent result and it puts us in play-off positions with two tough games to come.

"We are still in the race and and everyone knows when you get to the play-offs it's anyone's game."

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