Leicester not at their best, but still winning
Leicester City's 1-0 win against East Midlands-rivals Derby County yesterday afternoon was a positive result in more ways than one. Although the game was decided by a scrappy goal which will not make many highlight reels, it demonstrated that Nigel Pearson's men have the ability to hold onto narrow leads away from home. Leicester have already won two league games on the road so far this season, something they didn't achieve until October 2 during the 2012/13 Championship campaign. In fact, the Foxes only mustered six away wins last year - a record which certainly hindered their automatic promotion hopes.
Yesterday's victory also indicated that Jamie Vardy is becoming more and more of an influential figure on the pitch. Since his move to the King Power Stadium from at-the-time non-league Fleetwood Town last year, the 26-year-old striker struggled to maintain his place in the starting XI and mostly appeared as a substitute. However, Vardy has in featured in Leicester's first three league fixtures. He scored the winner on the opening day of the season against Middlesbrough and was heavily involved in Lee Grant's first-half own goal yesterday afternoon. If Vardy can continue to impress with similar performances this year, it would be a real bonus for the Foxes.
Lining up in last year's more familiar 4-3-3 formation, Nigel Pearson proved that Leicester have a plan B, and that he has the players for this. With a more traditional back four of Ritchie De Laet, Liam Moore, Wes Morgan and Jeffrey Schlupp, the Foxes kept their second consecutive clean sheet, and have still only conceded once in the Championship so far this season. With speculation that Paul Konchesky could be involved in a move away from the King Power Stadium before the end of the transfer window, fans could see more of Zoumana Bakayogo in upcoming weeks, as well as Jeffrey Schlupp who continues to impress as a utility player.
The season is still young, and the Championship is full of teams with the potential to be promotion contenders, but Leicester City are certainly showing early signs of promise. They have won games without playing their best football, which is the sign of a good team. Nigel Pearson is very aware that there is still room for improvement.