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Nigel Pearson
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Club as Coach Watford [Head Coach]

2015 05 02 Retrieve

[Nigel Pearson responds to a reporter’s question about criticism of his Leicester City players] If you don’t know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich. Your head must be in the sand. Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no. I can, you can’t. You are either being very, very silly or you are being absolutely stupid - one of the two. You are daft

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[Watford appoint former Leicester boss Pearson as head coach] The Hornets are pleased to confirm the appointment of Nigel Pearson as Head Coach on a contract that runs initially until the end of this season.

The 56-year-old will take up his post after the weekend, with Hornets’ Under-23s coach Hayden Mullins remaining in interim charge for Watford’s Premier League home fixture against Crystal Palace tomorrow (Saturday December 7).

Pearson has a wealth of managerial experience. He drove a successful bid for post-promotion Premier League survival with a run of seven victories in nine games at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, having secured his side a top-flight place during the previous season

2020 03 13 Retrieve

[Watford boss Nigel Pearson ‘totally underwhelmed by lack of leadership’ from UK PM Boris Johnson] I don’t think we had any great leadership last night listening to the prime minister. I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of leadership and clear message in terms of what was said in that press conference. We are trying to be proactive ourselves and hopefully the Premier League will make strong decisions based on what is right for everybody in the game

We have to be mindful that this problem, this worldwide problem, is not going to go away. It’s going to run its course. It’s not something we can stop and, we, in the football industry, have a responsibility to ourselves and each other than the wellbeing of everybody concerned is taken care of. I think what’s important first and foremost is to deal with the wellbeing of people involved in the industry. We have to be decisive with how the problem, the situation, is dealt with

The FA, Premier League, EFL and FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until Friday 3 April at the earliest

2020 03 14 Retrieve

[Watford manager Nigel Pearson says that it would be a tragedy for Liverpool if they were denied the Premier League title] Well, the longer it goes on the more difficult it will be to conclude the season. We have to keep this in perspective, of course, but for Liverpool it would be such a tragedy not to conclude the season. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It could be that when we get to April, we may be able to resume and go into the summer months. How it looks for football pales - not into insignificance - but we need perspective on real-life issues. But, yes, purely on a football basis it’s going to throw up problems we’ve not experienced in this country before

I would follow the recommendations like everyone else. It depends on the outcome of the test and that will have a knock-on effect on how I behave. We’re just sitting tight at the moment

2020 05 17 Retrieve

[Watford manager Nigel Pearson has also voiced his concerns about a possible restart, claiming the competition could be underestimating the virus] God forbid we have a fatality. People are closing their eyes to the threat. Yes, we would like to restart it but it’s got to be safe. We should be cautious. To ignore possibilities is foolhardy. It’s about safeguarding people’s health.

2020 05 22 Retrieve

[Watford manager Pearson says Adrian Mariappa doing ‘exceptionally well’ after testing positive for coronavirus] When I saw him for the test last week, I was sitting in the car park chatting to players as he came past so I had a chance to touch base with most of them. He looks exceptionally well and feels very well himself so I think it’s an example of how this virus can affect people in different ways. He’s following the advice and recommendations and isolating for a week. His family are all okay as well. I have no doubts in his case he’ll be fine when he comes back in. The point about this is there will be people who have the virus and who shake it off easily and some who are more susceptible. There are still a lot of unanswered questions. He’s disappointed he’s not in and we’ve got other people who are away because they have to self-isolate because of being in contact with people who have been tested positive, and then we have players who have decided they will continue to train on their own.

2020 06 18 Retrieve

[Watford boss Nigel Pearson has admitted that he can’t stand fake crowd noise, which he has compared to American comedy shows with canned laughter] What we have got to do is just deal with the situation, our stadium will be the same as every other stadium - no supporters. It is a real shame, let’s be honest this game is for supporters. It would be nice to have our fans here, but they are not so it is how you are able to deal with the situation. Hopefully our players will be able to isolate all the emotional side of it and deal with a sterile environment

We are not overly keen on - I don’t know if you like American comedy shows, I can’t stand them with canned laughter - so we don’t intend to create an environment where there is a false atmosphere. We have to deal with our own situation and know that our fans are very much behind us. We know that anyway, we are a club that has an identity in the community and the way the club has supported that community during the pandemic has been very, very good. Every club is in the same situation, we just have to try and win as many games as possible and deal with an unusual set of circumstances

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Nigel Pearson has been irritated by the Premier League’s monitoring of Watford during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming officials have been spotted looking in the club’s bins] I have found it irritating at times but also quite amusing that we have someone sitting and making notes of players’ spitting when it is 32 degrees and giving us a slap on the wrist

I have to smile at myself now when I see the Premier League at the training ground marking us down on simple behaviours. We even caught one looking through our bins. That was hilarious. Our club secretary caught him doing that. The goalposts have been shifted on one or two occasions in terms of what is allowed and what is not allowed. It has not always been clear but what we try to do is work with a bit of a sense of humour as well and a bit of flexibility so we do not let red tape get us down. It means you have to be creative and find different ways of working. I think there is a public perception that this is not the case but I have found the players to be very adaptable and very open to finding different solutions. We do it with a smile on our face. They are strange times but I think they bring out the best in people too

[Pearson admits his side have a difficult battle job of them, but he is sure his players are determined to avoid the drop] I think the players are generally speaking in a good place. It feels like a mini-tournament now. It feels like a cup tournament, an international tournament. You have a small number of games and you have to win enough games to, in our case, avoid relegation. It feels different but it is still the same season. March is a long time ago. We just need to cope with those differences.

It has been an unusual experience for everybody but now we are back into work mode and trying to negotiate our way through a relegation battle, which is a very tough one. We are working to achieve what we set out to achieve and that is retain our Premier League status. Believe me, these players are driven by performing and trying to get results

2020 06 29 Retrieve

[Danny Ings scored twice as Southampton piled the pressure on struggling Watford with a 3-1 victory at Vicarage Road on Sunday] We were second best for too long. We started the second half brightly, but you can’t concede goals like that and give gifts to your opponents, it makes the job even harder

We’ve got to get back to doing what we’ve been very good at doing for long periods and that is to show a cohesion as a group of people, who can actually find the answers on the pitch. But at the moment it’s frustrating because we’re not achieving the types of performances that we know we’re capable of doing

We have games left in which it’s in our own hands to make sure that we assure our future in the Premier League. That’s really what it’s about. Nobody else is going to do it for us, we’ve got to do it ourselves

2020 07 05 Retrieve

[Chelsea brushed off their midweek setback to return to winning ways with a routine 3-0 victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge] I thought we played with discipline and I said to the players that’s hard when you’ve got players who would normally contribute in a different way who are having to work particularly hard for the team to keep our shape and try to make it difficult for our opponents. We’d like to have spent more time on the ball but we knew we’d see a response from them since their last game. The subs had impact and we showed the qualities that were missing last week. Time is not on our side in terms of games left so we have to be brave, and I thought we were tonight

2020 07 06 Retrieve

[Nigel Pearson’s side remain outside of the relegation zone by a solitary point, but they have lost the defensive solidity and the swagger of their manager’s first eight games in charge, when they secured 14 points] We are having to play our way back into nick. Time is not on our side but we have to be brave enough and want the ball. The second-half performance was one we can build on

2020 07 06b Retrieve

[Watford should embrace challenge of relegation battle] We recognise how important the game is so it is one that we look forward to, one that we want to get a response from, a reaction from another defeat the other night which was disappointing but there was some good signals from that game. Look, all these games now are big and we just have to embrace the challenge. The important thing for us is to detach ourselves from all the ifs and buts and make sure our performance is as good as it can be. We are playing on familiar territory and so it is just important for us that we get the right performance and build on some positive things from the other night

There is a desire to improve on our performances and results for sure. The important thing is that we get the balance right between being calm about the situation but also recognise the necessity to perform and pick points up. We did a recovery session yesterday and we will look at the situation again today and then make decisions from there. There’s nothing new to bring up. It is more about how I feel that we will be best suited setting up in the game. I’ll assess the players again today and the decisions will be made based on that and what we think is right for this game

2020 07 08 Retrieve

[Danny Welbeck’s stunning overhead kick sent Norwich a step closer to relegation from the Premier League as Watford boosted their own survival chances with a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road] I thought we showed a lot of character - not always composure - but the result was always more important than the performance. I feel for Norwich because they played pretty well and we’ve had to fight very hard. Their ability to keep the ball made it difficult. We desperately needed three points and we got it. It’s only us who can keep us, we’ve got to win enough points. Sometimes clubs are in a position like this because there’s not enough care. I know that’s not the case here. We’re going to do everything we can to stay up

2020 07 08b Retrieve

[Nigel Pearson on Welbeck’s performance] He’s a player with a lot of ability and he’s had a really good career. To have a winner of such quality is great for us because it was a difficult game. I’m pleased for Danny, but I know him, he will just see this as a step in the right direction for himself having had a frustrating time with injury, so for him I know he will feel that all the hard work that he’s put in to get himself back to match fitness has paid off. The goal was an added bonus, but I thought he played and worked exceptionally hard for his team today. He had a good game.

2020 07 09 Retrieve

[Asked how many points he feels will be enough to survive] No idea, I don’t know. We just prepare for this game, try and win it, and then we will prepare for the next game and try and win that. Who knows. Being in the type of position we are in, it is about us really trying to focus very much on ourselves. It is never easy to empty your mind from what is happening elsewhere just because it is such a high-profile sport and the Premier League is such a big brand - but you can either choose to watch it or not. I think the important thing is to reflect as honestly as possible on your own performances. The way I measure our performances is against ourselves and the real focus is on how we get our own players to play as well as we can.

[Twice a caretaker boss at Newcastle, Pearson also praised the work being done by current Magpies manager Steve Bruce] He is a very experienced manager. He is somebody who played in the same era as me, he has been successful and the Newcastle job is not an easy one to be a success in. Steve would have approached it in a very calm manner, he is a very strong personality - he is in that job and it is a job he cares about for sure. They have had some decent results but the expectations at Newcastle are high but he is such an experienced man and he will be looking to end the season as strong as possible

2020 07 11 Retrieve

[Watford took a significant step towards Premier League survival as two Troy Deeney penalties helped them come from behind to beat Newcastle 2-1 at Vicarage Road] It’s never easy for players to deal with the sustained disappointment we’ve had this season. We’ve not had a spell where we’ve been out of trouble and we’ve still got a lot of work to do, but credit where it’s due. The players found answers today

It’s the second game in a week where we’ve gone a goal behind but we’ve been able to win it so we have to reflect on the positive aspects. It doesn’t matter how good a squad you have. They’ve still got to deal with the mental pressures, so credit to them

2020 07 13 Retrieve

[Who will join Norwich back in the Championship] Anything can happen. We have to keep our focus now, and it is not about thinking the job is done - we have got three more games to make sure we win enough points ourselves. What happens elsewhere can help, but if you are reliant on that you are in for a bit of a shock, so our focus has to be there

2020 07 16 Retrieve

[Nigel Pearson urges Watford players to ‘free themselves’ from pressure of West Ham relegation clash] On the face of it, there’s an awful lot riding on it but it’s also important that our players are able to free themselves up and play. When you’re under pressure that can certainly affect lots of different aspects of performance, but collectively we’ve shown a real resilience. They [West Ham] are fighting for their lives. They’ve found some decent form of late and we know it will be a tough game and I’m sure David (Moyes) will be expecting a tough game. It’s a game in which both sides would have a huge benefit if they win. The three game that we have left are all opportunities. I’m not going to classify games as being more important than the other. We need to commit ourselves to having that positive intent and do what we can to win the game

[Deeney keen to play despite ‘grumbly knee’] Troy has got an ongoing problem like a lot of players have. It’s something he’ll probably have for the rest of his career and it’s a case of managing what is essentially a grumbly knee. The choice is whether you want to play or not. He is very keen to play and when you get to this stage of a season with the type of pressure we are under, when players show a keenness to be a part of it I think that is really good. He is still a player who we would prefer to be as close to 100 per cent as possible. He is aware of his situation and he wants to play. For me, that’s a very positive sign and we need that positive mind-set at the moment

2020 07 17 Retrieve

[Nigel Pearson: Watford boss hoping to stay into next season] We’ve spoken and this week is not the time to be talking about me, let’s be absolutely honest. We discussed this right back when the lockdown started because it was important to clarify that there was a commitment to do the job. Both Craig [Shakespeare] and myself, when we joined, our intention was to do what we can this year to retain our status and then go from there. I’ve really enjoyed working here and yeah I would love to stay if the circumstances are right and all parties are in agreement. Again, I don’t think now is the time to be talking about my own situation. It’s not about that, it’s more about trying to get through these final days of the season and get the outcome we have been fighting hard for

[No special prep for West Ham] It’s been the same as every other week, what we can’t control is the external situation and how it is being built up. I think everybody from both clubs will recognise the importance of the fixture for sure. It comes at a time during the season when a win for either side will have a huge impact on the chance of staying up. That adds flavour to it. In terms of how we approach it, we try to be as normal as possible. Players have a better chance of performing to their maximum if they are mentally tuned in and well prepared. We know it is a big game we don’t have to put more pressure on ourselves [by treating it differently].

2020 07 18 Retrieve

[Watford’s first-half showing at West Ham was naive and mediocre, and it was a showing summed up perfectly by visibly fuming Nigel Pearson after the game] First half we let the game pass us by. We had passengers which is disappointing at this stage of the season. It’s annoying. Very disappointing. It means now we have got to find another one or two good results. There’s no getting away from the fact this result is bitterly disappointing. I’d expect better from our players - that’s not to say everybody. It’s a really poor result for us