Opposing View: Leicester City
Hopes, fears & expectations for the season?
Has to be promotion again, it's the stated aim of the board, it's the job Pearson has been tasked with and accepts himself, so that has to be the expectation. don't think it matters whether it's automatic or via the Play Off's just going up is key for the season. A good cup run would also be a nice distraction for the fans, but it's all about the league again, and to be fair, this season we seem a much better prospect for it given our performance levels so far.
What are the side's strengths & weakness'?
We battle, fight, and the squad are together probably more than they have been in recent years. There's a real determination out on the pitch, and when it has to be ugly, we'll be ugly, when we can be a bit prettier, we'll turn on some style but it's about whatever will bring us the result.
Weakness, like our earlier away form, you can see confidence chip away and the expectation levels start to weigh heavy when we hit a dip. We'll no doubt have another dip given our great form of late (ignoring the Palace result lol) so it really depends on how we deal with a run of a couple of games without victory, or even a point. If we let it get to us, we'll have blown it. If we can keep that spirit that we have now, we should be able to bounce back as we need to, if we want to go up.
Was Nigel Pearson ever in danger of losing his job?
I don't think so, but obviously with the press focus and the fact the board acted so quickly after only 11 games to replace Sven, there was that nagging doubt of whether there was some truth to it.
I'd imagine he's completely safe this season, but those doubts will return in the final games of the season if promotion isn't achieved. I don't think anybody knows whether the board would allow another failure so to speak.
What has changed this season from last?
I think obviously, after last season, the squad is now more how Pearson wants it to be, and they are more drilled in how he wants them to play and the decisions he wants them to make. But again I come back to the spirit we seem to have now, where everyone is fighting for each other even when it's not working out. Heads don't drop as easily anymore, so we are keeping ourselves in games, and getting something out of games that last season we would possibly have given up on at points.
Who will be your key man on Saturday?
Andy King seems to be on a rich run of form at the moment, and will no doubt want to continue scoring in consecutive games. And of course David Nugent is always a handful.
The squad is pretty balanced to be fair, so it's difficult to say who will be key or who'll be the game changer, as goals and the creation of them is pretty well spread throughout the team, and performance levels are pretty consistent.
Eyebrows for example were raised when new signing Anthony Knockaert came in and Ben Marshall took his place on the bench, because Marshall was playing well, but Knockaert has come in and plays like a season pro, so to some degree we are in the position of being able to rotate around for whatever reasons, without actually damaging our chances in attack.
One player you'd drive to his next club & why?
At least at this stage I don't think I'd pick anybody. We aren't carrying anyone on the pitch, and those not on the pitch are doing their jobs in training and pushing the first XI to keep their places and performance levels up. It's not broke at the moment, so I'm not sure I'd try and fix anything.
One Watford player you'd poach & why?
Again as things stand, I actually wouldn't want to alter what we have, even in a dream scenario. Also given you have so many loanees from Udinese that I know absolutely nothing about, I can't even really take a punt.
Is anyone missing & how will you line up?
I would imagine we'll line up as we did against Palace and I'm not aware of any fresh injury concerns at the moment. I can't see Pearson making any changes really, as given our run so far, and the loss where Palace were the better team on the day, I can see him challenging the players to get it right this time round.
I can see us putting it right. 2-1 to us.
Thanks to SvensAmbition, and make sure you head over to Vital Leicester to see how I answered some questions on the 'Orns!