Nigel Pearson hails Cambiasso role for Leicester

Leicester 2 Southampton 0: Leicester manager Nigel Pearson praised the way Esteban Cambiasso has adapted to a relegation fight during his first year in English football.

At club level, Cambiasso has become the most decorated player in Argentinian history, winning more honours than Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano.

Did you know?

Leicester City are the first Premier League team to win on six consecutive Saturdays since Liverpool in December 2006.

But the 34-year-old has become entrenched in Leicester’s culture since arriving on a free transfer last summer and has been instrumental in the recent run which has brought six wins from the last seven matches and put Pearson’s team three points clear of the relegation zone.

“His impact is difficult to quantify but it’s been a very positive one, there’s no doubt about that,” said Pearson following Saturday’s vital win. “If you take away the influence on other players and just look at his own performances, what he brings to the side in terms of his vision and game understanding, then I think he’s been a fantastic addition to our squad.

“Also where he takes an awful lot of credit is for someone with the CV he has and the amount of trophies and, if you like, positive situations he’s been in, to embrace a relegation battle in the way he has done I think gives you an indication of his professional outlook on his role within the squad.”

Southampton’s defeat came courtesy of another sluggish start and manager Ronald Koeman is becoming concerned by the trend.

Both Leicester goals came from Riyad Mahrez inside the opening 19 minutes.

The French-born Algeria international fired a left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net from just outside the penalty area on seven minutes and poked home from close range 12 minutes later.

It followed another slow start at Sunderland last week when Koeman’s men also found themselves behind at the same stage of the match.

Koeman was surprised to see his team make the same mistake for the second straight match and the Dutchman wants it rectified against Aston Villa next time out.

He said: “The reason that we lost is because if you start a game like we did then it’s very difficult to change it.

“Last week we had a big problem to start on a good level and today again. They [Leicester] had more spirit in the beginning.

LEICESTER CITY:

Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan, Albrighton, James (Drinkwater 13), Cambiasso, Schlupp, Mahrez, Ulloa (Hammond 78), Vardy (Nugent 70)

SOUTHAMPTON:

Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Reed, Wanyama, Davis (Djuricic 66), Mané, Elia (Long 66), Pellè

Referee:

Roger East


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