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View From The Town End: Leicester

Eight years ago it was Reading fans having a promotion party against Leicester but tonight it'll be the Foxes in the mood to party as they pitch up to the Madejski Stadium having already secured promotion back to the top division. Ahead of tonight's game we spoke to Leicester fan Dean Goodsell

Michael Regan

Congratulations on the promotion! What has Nigel Pearson done to turn Leicester from nearly men to Champions elect?

Nigel Pearson has been laying the ground work for some time. Last season, Nigel had the unenviable task of reducing the wage budget whilst bringing in a squad capable of challenging for promotion. As a result, we had a team of relatively inexperienced but talented players. After the devastating loss to Watford, the squad were able to mature over the summer and come back with the motivation and the desire to make that extra step this season. Pearson showed faith in the players that got us to the playoffs last year which meant we've had a team of players that understand each other and want to play for each other.

The few signings we did make this season, the likes of Taylor-Fletcher, Wasilewski, Phillips et al., added some necessary experience and increased our strength in depth which was beneficial during the second half of the season, when the games came thick and fast.

How well equipped are you for the Premier League, will much need to change and will the investment be there?

If Nigel Pearson wants to spend in the summer, I have no doubt the money will be there. Whether he will or not, is another question. Personally, I don't think he will. If we overhaul the squad too much, we risk losing all the hard work that Pearson has put into the club. We will need to add some Premiership experience and reinforce our defence, but the main core of our team will remain intact.

Leicester beat Reading 1-0 over Christmas, what did you make of us that day and from what you've seen since?

It was always going to be a tough game, especially with the constant floodlight failures which couldn't have been easy for either team. Reading managed to defend well and were better than most teams who have come to the King Power Stadium this season. Recently, you've been very inconsistent but if Nigel Adkins can get your team playing to its potential, you should give us a good game and secure sixth place.

Your first match since promotion didn't go particularly well with Brighton, do you expect a strong reaction on Monday night?

I wouldn't be surprised if a few of our players were still nursing hangovers after winning promotion! I think the match came too soon for us after the jubilation of the weekend, we were also unlucky to come up against a Brighton side fighting to make the playoffs. Pearson will definitely make sure the players are brought back to Earth for Monday. We still have a lot to play for and, with Burnley breathing down our necks, we need to remain focused until the title is secured.

Who should Reading be wary of on Monday?

For me, our player of the season so far has been Danny Drinkwater. He has been the engine room in our midfield and most of our attacking play comes through him. It's no coincidence that every time Drinkwater hasn't played well, the team hasn't played well. Our new January signing, Riyad Mahrez, has also impressed since joining. He is a pacey winger with a bag full of tricks and isn't afraid to use them!

Anyone Leicester fans are worried about?

Adam Le Fondre is always a threat, he'll certainly be looking to add to his 13 goals already this season. However, the stand out player for Reading when we played you earlier in the season was Alex McCarthy. He made some good saves and we were unlucky not to score more than we did. He is one of the best goalkeepers outside of the Premiership and has a bright future ahead of him.

Score prediction?

It will be a very hard fought game. We will want to secure the title as soon as possible whilst Reading will want to regain the final playoff spot. With everything on the line, I'm expecting a score draw.

Finally who do you see joining you in the Premier League next season?

Despite slipping up at the weekend, I can't see Burnley losing second spot. Both Derby and QPR have been too inconsistent to mount a serious challenge at this point in the season. However, the playoffs are a different story. Every team in those playoff spots will have good reason to believe they can win it. If I was to make a prediction based on what I've seen of the teams so far, I'd have to go with Wigan. They look a completely different outfit under Rosler. They play good, attacking football and they look to frustrate their opposition, making them a tough team to beat.

Thanks again to Dean and you can follow him on Twitter @deangoodsell.