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Hello... Nigel?

Hello... Nigel?

"They've said they want to keep him for now on the bench and use him for the last five or 10 minutes."

The grumbled words muttered by Nigel Clough just over a week ago when the news was broken to him that Martyn Waghorn would not be linking up with his struggling Derby side.

Well Nigel, how is that for reasoning? Waghorn, on the pitch for just eight minutes against Bristol City, was the man to send the Foxes home with all three points once again with an unlikely winner in the 92nd minute.

Undeserved it perhaps may have been on the balance of the second-half play, but Sven-Goran Eriksson won't care for sentiments when he reflects on a fifth straight victory.

The goal represents a crucial statement from goal-scorer Waghorn himself, who, despite a significant move from Sunderland in the summer, has found himself well behind in the pecking order at the Walkers this term.

It has been a tad unfortunate for the youngster, but Eriksson has been left with little choice with the consistent performances of Yakubu, Paul Gallagher and Darius Vassell as City's front three.

Waghorn was a stellar performer in the absence of Matty Fryatt last season, proving himself as an integral part of Nigel Pearson's successful side which performed so bravely so reach the play-offs.

The former Sunderland striker was left a broken figure after missing a penalty in the semi-final shoot-out with Cardiff, but nobody associated with the club was left cursing their suffering loanee.

The 21-year-old may not have enjoyed the best of seasons for a flying Leicester side, but rest assured there is still a part to play for Waghorn under Eriksson. It is arguably no deep fault of his own campaign to date that he has featured so sparsely.

A loan deal may have perhaps offered him the opportunity of regular first-team football in the Championship, but put entirely selfishly, he is a luxury off the bench simply too good to give away easily.

For Leicester, the victory represents their fifth on the bounce, and incredibly takes them to within just four points of second spot in the Championship.

Cracking the coveted sixth spot remains priority number one in the short term, but Eriksson and the club's ambitious owners will have bigger prizes on their minds.

And why not? The Swede has already demonstrated his canny ability to haul a bedraggled Foxes unit from the lower reaches of the table.

With Nottingham Forest hosting Cardiff and Norwich travelling to Leeds on Saturday, sealing three points this evening had rarely seemed more important. And with a daunting trip to Cardiff on Tuesday night, those precious points make life altogether more comfortable.

But the Foxes will not fear their trip to Wales. This is a team who have now won seven of their last eight fixtures in the league, and continue to look like a side capable of frightening the top two. Long may it continue.

Messrs Bellamy, Bothroyd and Chopra - we are coming.

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Writer:JBFox
Date:Friday February 18 2011
Time: 10:38PM

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