Nigel Pearson has warned Leicester City not to get “bogged down by the maths” as they continue their Premier League survival bid at West Brom on Saturday.
Leicester breathed fresh life into their battle against relegation with a dramatic 2-1 victory over West Ham last weekend – Andy King’s 86th-minute goal earning a first win since January.
The Midlands side remain bottom despite that result, but are now just six points adrift of 17th-placed Hull City with a game in hand on Steve Bruce’s team.
And manager Pearson believes Leicester are capable of putting together a run of victories and silencing those who claimed they could not avoid the drop.
“We’ve not had the winning feeling often enough this season, but we have games left versus teams we can affect [in the relegation battle]. They will see it the same way,” he said.
“The players have been positive all season. People will have written us off, but there’s a lot of football to be played.
“We must manage the shifts in people’s perceptions. You must take care of your own results first and not get bogged down by the maths.”
West Brom, who beat Leicester 1-0 in November’s corresponding fixture, are searching for a swift response to last weekend’s disappointing 4-1 home defeat to strugglers QPR.
Tony Pulis’ side have a seven-point buffer over the bottom three but, with a difficult run-in that includes matches against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, are not out of the mire yet.
West Brom will pay homage to club legend Jeff Astle on Saturday, with the team wearing a replica of the kit from the 1968 FA Cup final, in which Astle scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over Everton.
Captain Chris Brunt told the club’s official website: “I am sure that there will be a decent crowd and it will be a special day for the Astle family.
“It is one that everybody will support and get behind and hopefully we can get three points, which would be the icing on the cake.”
West Brom welcome Craig Dawson back from suspension, but Youssouf Mulumbu starts a three-match ban after his red card for elbowing Joey Barton in the loss to QPR.
Leicester could be boosted by the returns of Matt Upson (Achilles) and Dean Hammond (calf), who were both back in training this week.
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