Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson said his club’s dominance in the Championship was not expected, as they clinched the title on Tuesday.
The East Midlands outfit beat Bolton Wanderers 1-0 on the road courtesy of Lloyd Dyer’s wonder strike, to ensure they head to the Premier League in 2014-15 as champions of England’s second tier.
Leicester have won 29 of 44 games so far, and are every chance of carrying on their winning ways, with fixtures against Huddersfield Town (17th) and Doncaster Rovers (19th) to finish their campaign in the second tier.
Pearson admitted he did not see their dominant season coming.
“If I’m honest, no,” the former Southampton and Hull City boss said.
“If you look at some of the other squads, teams that had come down from the Premier League and a number of the sides who were vying for play-off places and promotion last season – there’s a lot of strong squads.
“The Championship has been very different in terms of how it’s panned out. At the end of last season the difference between the bottom three and the play-offs places was about 12 or 15 points, this year it’s a huge gulf. Clearly there’s been a change and for us to be as successful as we’ve been is a real bonus.
“There’s been some strong sides but we’ve been able to take the disappointment from last season and really make that work for us. The players have shown a determination to mentally deal with the season.
“We have some very talented players and the more experienced players who have come in have done very, very well for us. Overall, it’s probably a good advert for showing a bit of patience.”
Pearson’s men were guaranteed promotion in underwhelming fashion, as losses to play-off aspirants Derby County and Queen’s Park Rangers saw them assured of a top-two finish.
But the 50-year-old was pleased the title was won by Leicester, and not lost by their closest rival Burnley.
“It was nice to win it ourselves, especially having gained promotion when we didn’t play,” Pearson said.
“I think it was nicer for the players to get us over the line tonight in terms of winning the league.
“It was great to be able to finish off the season well and we’ve got to 96 points, which is a really good total with two games to go, and I want the players to go on and try and get as many points as possible now.”
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