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Ex-Derby boss admits he made “bad choice” by taking Rams job

(Photo: Action Images)

By Jonny Leighfield

Nigel Pearson has conceded he made a “bad choice” last season by taking the Derby County manager’s job.

The current OH Leuven boss, Pearson, took over at Derby in May 2016 but was sacked after less than five months in charge following a fierce argument with club owner, Mel Morris.

County were 20th in the Championship when Pearson left before a combination of Steve McClaren and Gary Rowett guided them to a ninth-placed finish.

Looking back at his ill-fated spell at Pride Park, Pearson told The Guardian: “I think all I can say about that is that it was a bad choice by me and it was a bad choice by them, probably.”

Alluding to his current job at Belgian second division side, OH Leuven, Pearson said: “We all make decisions which turn out to be not necessarily the right ones but this feels a lot more like what I’m looking for.

“It’s got a different feel, there are possibilities here, and I think it’s a stimulus that I need,” he said.

Pearson elaborated on some of the unorthodox actions during his managerial career by admitting that football management: “Brings out the best of me and the worst of me as well. I’ve been in a few tangles in my time.

“And a lot of them have been of my own making because of how I feel I need to protect the people I’m working with – that is the players,” he said.

Pearson continued: “If sometimes that manifests itself into doing rather strange things then, yeah, I have to accept the trouble I’ve got into. A lot of it has been either decisions I’ve made, or probably not thought long and hard enough about.

“Part and parcel of trying to understand and recognise your strengths and weaknesses is to be brutally honest with how you reflect on what you are yourself.

“I can’t fundamentally change what I am. But if you said to me: ‘Would you do one or two things differently?’ Yeah, of course I would. But anybody can say that,” said Pearson.

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