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Nugent can get us to Wembley - says Leicester City boss


Nigel Pearson is backing striker David Nugent to go on a goal run that could fire Leicester City to Wembley after he broke his goal drought on Thursday night.

City take a one-goal advantage into their play-off semi-final second leg against Watford at Vicarage Road tomorrow after Nugent's late winner at King Power Stadium, which ended his 16-game barren run.

It was the longest run of games without a goal Nugent has experienced in his career, but now Pearson believes the dam could be broken and Nugent could get on a roll as City bid to reach the Wembley final and ultimately the Premier League.

"Hopefully that will give him that extra confidence," he said.

"He always gives you a lot of enthusiasm and work-rate. He can affect the game, and normally when he gets one he gets two, three, four.

"It has been a while but I think with him around you always feel he is capable of scoring.

"He is not a player who you would necessarily observe that he is going through a difficult time as a striker.

"He always works hard. I am pleased for him but more importantly he has got us that narrow lead."

Nugent admits his goal drought has been tough but said he always remained positive he would be back amongst the goals again.

"It has been 16 games since scoring but I always held my head up and kept smiling," he said.

"It is difficult because it is my job to score goals as a striker. That is what I get paid for. But I just try to stay in a positive mindset.

"Sometimes it is hard going home knowing you haven't scored for a number of games. But I keep my head up and I know I will get my chances. If I miss it then I know there will be another one. It is my job to put the next one in.

"Once I get one I usually go on a spell where I get a few."

After reaching 14 goals for the end of January, Nugent had targeted breaking the 20-goal barrier for the first time in his career, but feels he jinxed himself.

"I have 15 for the season now but I should have more," he said.

"I said 15 at the start of the season and when I reached 14 in January I said I wanted to get 20. Then I stopped scoring. I will never say that again. Perhaps I jinxed myself.

"I would settle for one a game now and hopefully get to Wembley and into the Premier League."

If history is anything to go by, Nugent is well-placed to add to his tally.

The 28-year-old has been a frequent thorn in the side of the Hornets throughout his career and he plans to continue his role as Watford's bogey man in their return leg at Vicarage Road tomorrow.

In the 10 games Nugent has played against Watford during his career he has scored seven times, and his late winner on Thursday night was his fifth in his last five games against them in the past two seasons.

His record at Vicarage Road is equally impressive with five goals in five games at the home of the Hornets, and Nugent has his sights set on more goals after finally getting back on the goal trail.

"I have a good record against Watford," he said.

"Ipswich and Watford are the two teams I tend to score against so I am really happy we have got them in the next game.

"I have scored their for Preston, Portsmouth and Leicester. I might be a bogeyman for them and I hope that is the case on Sunday."

It hasn't just been Nugent who has appeared rejuvenated in the last two games, the City striker admits the whole team have been lifted by the unlikely way in which they broke into the play-offs. Now they are determined to make the most of the opportunity.

"After the Peterborough game, when we conceded two goals in the last ten minutes, we went on a horrible run," he said.

"We couldn't buy a victory, but we managed to get in by the skin of our teeth.

"We are determined to take the chance we have been given. We shouldn't be in there but we are and we are looking forward to the second leg.

"We have done a miracle really to get in the play-offs. You couldn't write the script, with a last-minute win at Forest and Bolton drawing, and we are all delighted we have the chance. We all want it really badly.

"We are massively rejuvenated. The lads are buzzing. We want the game now but we have to wait until Sunday.

"We go there with a lot of confidence. We are determined to get to Wembley."

City will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg.

However, away goals do not count 'double' in the event of an aggregate tie. For example, if City lose 2-1, it will be extra-time and potentially penalties.

Nugent can get us to Wembley - says Leicester City boss

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