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Saturday 05 April 2014

Pearson 'relief' as Leicester return to Premier League

Leicester City end 10-year absence from Barclays Premier League after Saturday results go their way

Nigel Pearson has guided Leicester back to the top-flight after a 10-year absence

Manager Nigel Pearson described feelings of "relief" as his Leicester City side earned promotion to the Barclays Premier League on Saturday after a 10-year absence.

"I think it's a relief for a lot of people. It's been a tough couple of years in the sense that we've been trying to get back into the top flight and it's never easy"
Nigel Pearson

The Foxes claimed a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Friday, knowing that promotion to the top flight would be confirmed if results on Saturday went their way. After Queens Park Rangers succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at their manager Harry Redknapp's former club Bournemouth, and Derby County lost at Middlesbrough, Leicester held an unassailable lead over rival clubs in the play-off places.

"It's a relief for a lot of people," Peearson told BBC Radio Leicester. "It's been a tough couple of years in the sense that we've been trying to get back into the top flight and it's never easy.

"We're in Shropshire at the moment and on the way over my wife and daughter wanted to listen to the radio and I said, 'No.' They were texting each other in the car to keep each other up to date. I found out when we arrived and it was rather nice. It's been an interesting two or three hours."

Leicester's return brings to an end the club's decade-long exile from England's top tier, with the club having suffered relegation from the Barclays Premier League in 2004.

It also soothes the heartache of last year's play-off semi-final defeat to Watford, when Anthony Knockaert, who scored the winner against Wednesday, missed a late penalty at Vicarage Road before Troy Deeney went up the other end to score to take the hosts to Wembley.

Pearson declared after the Hillsborough victory that his sights were set on winning the title and Burnley's 1-1 draw at Watford leaves his side nine points clear at the top with six matches to go.

He told BBC Sport after Friday’s game: "I want us to win every game that we can and I want us to be champions, but we'll have to fight very hard to do that."

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