sport

Pearson hands Vardy credit

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson believes the club are finally 'reaping the benefits' from Jamie Vardy after an impressive 15 goals this season.

The Championship club paid 1million to non-league Fleetwood Town for the services of the 27-year-old striker at the start of last season.

And following a slow start to life at the King Power Stadium with just five goals in 29 appearances last season, Vardy is now repaying Pearson's faith.

He has bagged five goals in his last four games and eight goals in his last 10 appearances and Pearson feels the former Stocksbridge Park Steels star deserves full credit for the turnaround in his fortunes.

"I think he started last season well but then came in for a bit of criticism and lost his form, and didn't score the number of goals he or we would have liked," said Pearson.

"I think you have to give players time to adapt. We are reaping the benefits this season of him understanding the role a lot more and embracing the challenge with a bit more confidence.

"Confidence is very important for every player but particularly for a striker.

"The criticism last season may have fired him up a bit but it is part and parcel of being a player that you are going to get criticism from time to time.

"The only way you ever deal with that is to knuckle down and try to prove people wrong.

"Whether that is his attitude I don't know but I do know he came back in pre-season a lot fitter and made a conscious effort to improve his game.

"We have shown belief in him and if you ask his team-mates they value his contribution massively. He has done exceptionally well for us."