Are Nigel Pearson's days numbered?
Last night's Capital One Cup defeat to Burton Albion rounded off a miserable seven days for Nigel Pearson's Leicester City. After the Foxes lost two close league games to Charlton and Blackburn (and with all due respect to the Shakers), yesterday's match was supposed to be the one to get Leicester back on track. Instead, the hosts shipped four goals to a side two divisions below them and were subsequently booed off the pitch.
It's August. The season is five games old. But with former manager Ian Holloway bringing an in-form Blackpool side to the King Power Stadium this weekend, is Saturday's fixture now a must-win game for Nigel Pearson?
It goes without saying that this isn't the start that fans were expecting. A promising opening day 2-0 win over East Midlands-rivals Peterborough United has since been marred by consecutive away defeats, but such results can be overlooked by generally positive performances and an apparent willingness and desire to battle back. A convincing home defeat to a side the Foxes beat 3-1 in preseason is a little harder for supporters to digest.
Nigel Pearson did make eight changes from his starting eleven who started last Saturday's 2-1 loss at Blackburn Rovers, so there may have been rustiness in places (especially in defence, with Sean St. Ledger and Zak Whitbread playing for the first time this season). However, in a division where stability is important, perhaps eight changes for one match are too many. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and had Leicester beaten Burton Albion 2-0, fans would be singing the manager's praises for focusing what is now a crucial match this weekend.
This brings us to Leicester's next match - Saturday evening's clash with Blackpool. This match could be a huge point in the season for both sides. The visitors are the only team to have won their opening three fixtures, having scored ten goals and conceded just one since the start of the Championship season. They are the form side at this stage, and also the side to beat. Leicester, who are always tipped to succeed in the Championship due to the financial backing of the Raksriaksorns, have lost three in a row for the first time since Paulo Sousa was in charge. Sousa was sacked after that third loss (a 4-3 defeat at Norwich City). Wouldn't it just be fitting for Ian Holloway (who knows what it is like to be sacked from Leicester City) to come to town and put Nigel Pearson's future here in real jeopardy?
As mentioned before, stability is the key for success in this division. It is far too early to tell how the rest of the season might pan out. But Leicester are notorious for its revolving door when it comes to managers. It really shouldn't be, but Saturday could now be a must-win game for Nigel Pearson.