Schlupp vows to re­pay Nigel

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By James Har­ri­son

LEICESTER striker Jeff Schlupp has backed un­der-fire boss Nigel Pear­son to get the Foxes onn the up again, de­spite the draw with Birm­ing­ham on Fri­day ex­tend­ing their win­less run to nine games.

Leicester, sec­ond at the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary, now sit out­side the play-off spots and with four games to go their slump couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Owner Vichai Rak­sri­ak­sorn was in at­ten­dance and would have watched on in hor­ror as Chris Burke struck a late penalty for the Blues – de­spite David Nu­gent’s foul on Wes Thomas be­ing out­side the box.

Leicester had taken the lead twice, firstly through Cur­tis Davies’ own goal – equalised by Nikola Zigic – and then through Schlupp, but the Ghana in­ter­na­tional ad­mits his side need to cut out the er­rors to ease the bur­den on Pear­son.

“The boss is al­ways great with the lads,” said Schlupp.

“I’m sure all the staff are do­ing all they can to lift us but it is us on the pitch, we’ve got to do the busi­ness out there.

“I thought we de­served to win, we did ev­ery­thing we could to get that win that we needed but it was our own er­rors, we need to pick our- selves up and go again. It’s not nice but we are big men, we need to win our next four games and get our­selves into that play­off spot.

“We cre­ated a lot of chances but you’ve got to put them away. We did score two goals so that is a pos­i­tive but we just need to stop our own er­rors and get the wins that we need.

“I’m back play­ing up top where I feel most com­fort­able, so I’m happy with that. I’ve done well in the past few games, but it’s a team game and we just need wins.

“We’ve got a game on Tues­day (against Bolton), hopefully we can put it right and start a run.”

Things started well for the Foxes, a rare bit of luck saw Davies in­ad­ver­tently glance in Matty James’ cor­ner on just 12 min­utes.

But the nerves of the home sup­port­ers, who haven’t seen a win since Fe­bru­ary 26, were com­pounded when Zigic slot­ted home Mitch Han­cox’s low cross on the hour mark.

Schlupp then blasted against the bar be­fore meet­ing an­other James cor­ner to head home with 15 min­utes re­main­ing.

But Burke’s con­tro­ver­sial spot-kick sal­vaged a point for Birm­ing­ham, and boss Lee Clark ad­mits the vis­i­tors played on the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing the King Power Sta­dium.

“That was part of my pre­match team talk (the nerves of the home sup­port­ers),” said Clark. “I think all the teams at the top are get­ting a lit­tle bit twitchy, when you see they haven’t been in bril­liant form.

“Be­cause the prize and the ex­pec­ta­tions of all the clubs are so big, you know there’s go­ing to be ten­sion.

“And that can trans­late to the play­ers on the pitch, so you’ve got to use that to get a re­sult and I think we did that.

“I was really pleased with the per­for­mance.

“I would have been dev­as­tated for my play­ers if we had of been on the back of a de­feat here. I thought our per­for­mance de­served a pos­i­tive re­sult.

“If there was go­ing to be a win­ner, I think be­cause of our foot­ball and the way we passed the ball around, I would have felt it would have been us.”

IN THE PINK: Chris Burke scores a late lev­eller from the spot for Birm­ing­ham

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

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