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We have the men for big occasion, says Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson

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Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson has stressed the importance of today's clash with rivals Derby.

Pearson also warned that Nigel Clough's side will present City's sternest challenge for years in the live TV game (5.20).

City have a good record in East Midlands derbies in recent years and manager Pearson says they have shown they can rise to the big occasion.

They have done the double over Derby in the last two seasons and the Rams have not won in Leicester for 10 years.

Against fellow East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest, City have only lost one of the last eight meetings.

"To be a success in derbies, you have to understand they are important games for the clubs, players and certainly the fans, but you have to be able to make clear decisions and keep your calm," said Pearson.

"It is normally mistakes that determine the outcome of the game.

"The players who are in better control of their emotions have a better chance of making the right decisions during the games."

Pearson believes both sides' attacking approaches will produce an entertaining encounter for the fans and the countless others watching on television.

"I have seen Derby a couple of times and they are playing some good football at a high tempo," he said.

"They have made themselves a better team. They are functioning pretty well as a side, so we have to be prepared to deal with that aspect of their game.

"It is going to be a high-tempo game because we have that approach as well, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in that regard.

"When you have two sides trying to play in that fashion, there will probably be a few mistakes as well.

"It will be down to which side capitalises on those mistakes who will probably win the game."

City will again be without top-scorer David Nugent, who is still recovering from a neck injury, and defender Sean St Ledger is not quite ready after a hamstring injury.

Rams boss Nigel Clough will give a late fitness test to left-back Gareth Roberts, while striker Nathan Tyson is pushing for a start after some impressive contributions from the substitutes' bench.

We have the men for big occasion, says Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson


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