Pearson: Unknown Quantity

City manager Nigel Pearson has called for focus ahead of the Barclays Premier League opener against Everton at King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The Foxes had a record-breaking season in the Sky Bet Championship last year but step into relatively unknown territory for most of the players. 

Pearson admits that it will be difficult to judge how well they will perform but believes the key to success will be to play the game, not the occasion. 

He said: “We've done everything we can to prepare the players like we would for any season. Clearly being in the Premier League is something the Club has been trying to achieve for a decade - that's a long time but we don't have a divine right to be there. 

“The players are as ready as they can be. We have to recognise there is an unknown quantity as to how we will fare. 

"I don't know how other people perceive us. It can be a positive or negative - it's about trying to establish us back in the top flight, which is a very difficult task for anyone. 

"We won't be the best side in the division. We had to work exceptionally hard last season but over the entirety we proved we were the strongest team. 

"There are a lot of positives from last season that carry over. I'm not suggesting we draw a line under it totally. We have to draw on the positives, which there have been many of in the last two and a half years. 

"I know just how much has gone into it. Last season was a success and we came very close the year before. 

“I'm very proud of what they achieved last year but it is now all about moving on.”

The City boss also paid tribute to the opposition manager who guided the Toffees to a respectable fifth place in the Premier League last season. 

Pearson added: “I've a lot of respect for Roberto Martinez. At Wigan and Swansea he was a man who goes out his job in a very defined way. He has his own values and it is very interesting that he has been recruited for what he is. 

"Clubs need to take a bit more ownership in how they recruit and he's clearly a good fit for them. We know that even though the pre-season fixture does not have much relevance, I have great respect for Roberto but it is about us - our minds are very much on the first Premier League fixture. 

"I'm not sure how exactly people think we'll do. It's an unknown quantity. We can utilise that. We have to play the game, not the occasion. It should be a great occasion for the club. 

"For a lot of us it is an unknown quantity. We will try and not get too involved in the hype or fundamentally change what we are. We are what we are and have to be ourselves. 

"We won't have it all our own way. We have a very difficult start on papers - the players are very excited.”

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