11 September 2014 18:26
Nigel Pearson insists Leicester City have no time to rest on their laurels ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Stoke City.
Leicester may not have won since returning to the top flight, but they have received plaudits for three fine performances, including a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Arsenal before the international break.
Pearson, who was a first-team coach at Stoke between 1999 and 2001, is keen for his side not to get complacent, though, and wants Leicester to continue to show the sort of fight required to maintain their Premier League status, starting at the Britannia Stadium this weekend.
“Performances have been encouraging so far but we’ve another tough opponent in Stoke City on Saturday,” he said at his pre-match news conference.
“If we show the same belief and desire we have so far then we’ll do well in the Premier League this season.”
Centre-back Matt Upson (foot) will miss out against former club Stoke and midfielder Matty James is unlikely to play despite returning to training following a shin injury.
Leicester could field as many as four debutants with Danny Simpson, Tom Lawrence, Nick Powell and Esteban Cambiasso having all joined before the transfer window closed.
Cambiasso, in particular, represented a coup for the Midlands club, with the 34-year-old possessing European pedigree from stints with Real Madrid and Inter.
“Cambiasso is doing very well,” Pearson added. “He talked about his English not being proficient a couple of weeks ago but he’s a very good communicator.
“That’s always a big plus when you have a player of his experience and quality. He’s had nothing but a positive effect and that is testament to his own ability and character as a person. We’re very pleased.”
Leicester’s last league visit to the Britannia Stadium came in the final game of the 2007-08 campaign, a 0-0 draw saw the club relegated to League One while the result confirmed Stoke’s return to the top flight.
Hosts Stoke will look to take confidence from the 1-0 victory at Premier League champions Manchester City in their last outing.
Stoke had failed to win on each of their previous six league games at City since gaining promotion back to the top tier, but Mame Biram Diouf’s first goal for the Staffordshire club secured an unlikely victory for Mark Hughes’ men.
However, Diouf may not feature this weekend due to his involvement for Senegal during the international break, with chairman Peter Coates telling the Stoke Sentinel: “The management team are concerned because of the travelling involved and the time between matches.
“Mark Hughes will have his fitness staff doing all they can to get him ready.”
Full-back Geoff Cameron definitely misses out with a hernia, as does Peter Odemwingie (knee).
Oussama Assaidi, who agreed to a second loan spell at Stoke from Liverpool on transfer deadline day, is doubtful as he missed most of pre-season with a knee injury, while Stephen Ireland has returned to training following a rib complaint and could come into contention.