Contrite Leicester boss Nigel Pearson denies bullying in climbdown over ‘ostrichgate’ farce

Nigel Pearson denied he is a bully after his latest outburst saw the Leicester boss heavily criticised.

The Foxes chief apologised to journalist Ian Baker for calling him an “ostrich” and “stupid” after Leicester’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday.

Pearson was irritated after being asked to clarify what criticism of his players had particularly upset him this season. It was branded ‘ostrichgate’ on social media with the hashtag trending on Wednesday night.

But Pearson said sorry yesterday and when asked whether he was bothered by the bad publicity and perhaps being called a bully he replied: “That is a word that is very easy to use but there you are. I am not.

“Fundamentally I am what I am. Again, the model which is sometimes thrown at me as being dour and arrogant, people can have their views on that but the people who work very closely with me know me a damn sight better because I allow them to get to know me.”

Pearson had already been involved in one spat with a journalist in March, calling him a ‘prick’, and told a fan to ‘fuck off and die’ during a December defeat to Liverpool. He also grappled with Crystal Palace’s James McArthur in February, grabbing the midfielder by the throat, but both he and McArthur played the touchline incident down. Pearson admitted he is likely to remain combative if confronted but conceded he knows when he is wrong.

He said: “It depends on my emotional state but it would be wrong to change and wrong to recognise that we don’t make mistakes - we are human beings.”


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