FA Cup has not lost any shine for Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson
PUBLISHED: 13:27 20 February 2012
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Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson insisted the FA Cup still ranked as a major prize – after his side booked a quarter-final place at the expense of the Canaries.
“This is a very important competition still,” said Pearson, whose team’s 2-1 success means they will visit Chelsea or Birmingham City in the last eight.
“I think the FA Cup, unfortunately, seems to have diminished in terms of how people perceive it but certainly not for me and not for the fans either.
“I think that comes out of the pressures of success in terms of European football for the bigger Premier League clubs. But it’s still a very prestigious competition.”
It was pointed out to Pearson that Leicester’s last FA Cup win at Carrow Road – in 1963 – eventually led to a place in the final.
“It’s the year I was born,” he said. “I think when you get to the latter stages people actually do start hoping and dreaming that you can be successful. I’ve been fortunate to play in cup finals and I know that sometimes finals can sneak up on you.
“I’m pleased about today because it was an opportunity to get back to winning ways. The added bonus is that we’ve now earned the right to be in the quarter-final and whatever the draw, it will be very, very interesting. There are a number of big sides who are no longer in the competition, so who knows? But one step at a time.”
Pearson said both sides contributed to “a very good cup-tie”.
He said: “It’s pleasing that we created a number of chances.
“But I do recognise that they had opportunities themselves and we had to defend with a lot of spirit.
“The whole of the back four were very busy because of the way that Norwich played but I think they coped with it exceptionally well.”
Two first-half decisions by referee Mike Dean went against Leicester – the first of them the penalty awarded against Kasper Schmeichel for a push on Elliott Bennett.
“There was certainly contact but I felt it was a bit harsh.
“I thought Kasper, if you see the replays, is only looking at the ball,” said Pearson.
The other talking point was when Norwich defender Elliott Ward chested Wes Morgan’s backheel off the line, but Leicester players claimed the ball was in.
“They are still going to be talking about these things until the game embraces technology a little bit more,” said Pearson.
“I don’t know. I’ve seen the incident and you’d have to say it would be a guess to say whether it was or wasn’t.
“Our players felt that it was over the line but until we actually embrace technology like other sports do, I think it makes the job for the officials that much harder.”
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