Pearson urges Leicester to retain identity

​Nigel Pearson believes Leicester City must stick to their philosophy if they are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

After initially making a decent start to their first Premier League season for 10 years, Leicester head into the international break in the bottom three having taken just one point from their last six league games.

A brace from Shane Long condemned Leicester to a 2-0 loss at Southampton last Saturday, a result that marked their fifth straight top-flight defeat, yet Pearson insists his side do not need to change much to enjoy a relatively successful season.

"You'll find most teams play with an extra man in the middle of the park," Pearson told the club's official website. "Most good Premier League sides are passing teams. You need to have the ball enough. Key areas in midfield remain the central areas. 

"We have players that are capable of performing well in wide areas but what you can’t do is set up in a way which concedes too much possession to sides who can potentially out-manoeuvre you. 

"I always feel it is the same process – who is best suited to try and get a win in this game? People want to look at systems a lot but we played 4-4-2 a lot last season but played about five different systems. 

"What is important is you retain your own identity in terms of the type of team that you are. Our game is all about a good, collective work ethic playing at a good tempo regardless of the system. 

"I've been told we've played 4-4-2 sometimes this year and it's not actually been that. It's how you perceive it. 

"If you're the best side, generally speaking you can impose your system of play on other teams – the top teams in the Premier League do it. You could argue last season we did that. We have to be a bit more streetwise."