99 NOT OUT FOR NIGEL’S FOXES
LEICESTER boss Nigel Pearson felt the win over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium was yet more evidence of his squad’s strength in depth as they move closer to a century of points.
Former Terrier Gary TaylorFletcher’s first half opener was doubled by Wes Morgan’s finish to send the champions to a club record 99 points.
But Foxes boss Pearson insists the points tally has been secondary to winning the Championship which he believes is one of the world’s most difficult leagues.
“What really pleased me is we were able to make changes but we still played exceptionally well,” he said
“I’m just delighted that we’ve illustrated we’ve got a very strong squad.
“The players have got to enjoy the experience of being champions early but the only way you enjoy it is to play well and win so hopefully we can do well again next week and maybe hit the 100, 102 mark.
“What we’ve got now has taken us a while to build this squad as it is but we’ve been very careful to try and recruit people who fit the bill in terms of the technical side but their character is positive as well.
“The most important thing is we wanted to win the league and we’ve done that so it gives us an opportunity to have a focus on something else.”
The Foxes could have taken a 17th minute lead through Chris Wood had his header from Matty James’ free-kick been on target.
After a lull in the game, James sprung into life by collecting a poor Terriers clearance and unleashing a 24th minute piledriver which struck the underside of the crossbar with Alex Smithies beaten andbounced away.
The travelling Foxes fans went into party mode when TaylorFletcher scored a sublime 31st minute opener with a driving finish past Smithies after receiving Lloyd Dyer’s intelligent pass.
Huddersfield nearly levelled four minutes later when Sean Scannell’s low left-wing cross was missed by inches by a sliding Adam Hammill in the six-yard box.
Scannell created Huddersfield’s best chance on 42 minutes by driving past Paul Konchesky to the by-line and cutting back for an unmarked Hammill whose effort was cleared off the line by Liam Moore.
After the break, Dyer came close to adding a second for the Foxes after receiving TaylorFletcher’s chipped pass and firing a 53rd minute effort at Smithies who parried away from close-range.
Duane Holmes breathed a sigh of relief on 56 minutes when his pass back was intercepted by Dyer in a crowded penalty area but the Leicester man fired straight at Smithies.
The pressure paid off for the Foxes when they doubled their advantage through skipper Morgan who finished from closerange after meeting James’ 75th minute free-kick.
Huddersfield boss Mark Robins – whose side lie 17th – congratulated Leicester but challenged the Terriers to improve next season.
“They looked like a Premiership outfit and they’ve done unbelievably well and you’ve got to congratulate Nigel and his staff for pulling that off as they have been by far and away the best side in the division,” he said.
“I thought we were alright boxto-box. In the final third we didn’t do enough.
“I think the disappointment comes from ten or 15 games ago, we were closer to the play-offs than we were to the relegation zone but we’ve ran out of steam.
“The remit this year was trying to embed a style of play but to do it while bringing the youngsters through.”
CHAMPIONS: Wes Morgan, second left, scores Leicester’s second goal
OPENER: Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Chris Wood celebrate
STAR MAN SEAN SCANN