Tag Archives: schmeichel

Hull 0 Leicester 0 match report

Hull 0 Leicester 0: Honours even as promotion chasers play out a damp squib on Humberside

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UPDATED:

18:27 GMT, 26 December 2012

Hull were unable to provide any kind of celebration on their 10th anniversary since moving into the KC Stadium following a goalless draw with fellow promotion chasers Leicester.

Not even the return of former Tigers boss Nigel Pearson was enough to enliven a cold and damp afternoon on Humberside as both sides failed to live up to their lofty positions in the npower Championship table.

Jay Simpson saw a shot cleared off the line by Richie De Laet in the first half, but otherwise Pearson engineered a rearguard to frustrate his second-placed former employers.

It was the Foxes third successive match without scoring, highlighting Pearson's desire for a striker in next month's transfer window, but it was a point earned for the visitors after back-to-back defeats.

Goalless: Hull City's Sone Aluko (middle) fails to find the net in the 0-0 draw with Leicester City

Goalless: Hull City's Sone Aluko (middle) fails to find the net in the 0-0 draw with Leicester City

MATCH FACTS

Hull: Jakupovic, Chester, Faye (Proschwitz 84), Hobbs, Elmohamady, Evans (Cairney 71), Koren, Quinn, Brady, Aluko (Rosenior 84), Simpson.

Subs Not Used: Amos, Mclean, McShane, Olofinjana.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Moore 46), Whitbread, Morgan, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Knockaert, Marshall, King (Gallagher 82), James, Nugent (Waghorn 67).

Subs Not Used: Logan, Dyer, Schlupp, Futacs.

Booked: De Laet, Whitbread

Attendance: 20,321

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Pearson left the KC Stadium in acrimonious circumstance to return to Leicester 13 months ago and the home fans took little time to remind of their antipathy towards him – directing a couple of derisory chants as their team made the best of the opening exchanges.

Simpson turned a weak side-footed shot wide when well placed before Paul Konchesky was forced into an awkward headed clearance inside his own six-yard box.

Leicester were hardly on the back-foot though and, with David Nugent playing on his own in front of a five-man midfield, they began to settle into a period of possession.

It prompted the Foxes' best spell of the first half and midfielder Anthony Knockaert should have rewarded them only to waste a hat-trick of chances inside a 10-minute period.

The Frenchman twice shot wide of the left-hand post before spurning the best of his opportunities with a scuffed effort after Konchesky pulled a cross back to the penalty spot.

Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic then needed a strong arm to keep out Danny Drinkwater, after Knockaert this time opted to pass, but the away side's attacking vigour soon subsided.

Instead they were left attempting to quell the increasing threat of Sone Aluko, back in the starting XI, as he began to busy himself in the hole behind the striker.

After Abdoulaye Faye headed a cross at the back post into the side netting, Aluko jinked his way into space only for Kasper Schmeichel to expertly tip away his low shot.

Aluko set up the best chance of the first 45 minutes moments later when he snuck a pass behind the defence for Simpson. The striker looked certain to score when he rounded Schmeichel but Richie De Laet was alive to the danger and got back to clear off the line.

It was De Laet's last major involvement as he was replaced at the break by Liam Moore who survived a nervous moment shortly after as appeals for handball were waved away.

Leicester almost stole ahead against the run of play on the hour when Faye sliced an attempted clearance just wide of his own goal.
Chances were at a premium in the second half, though, as the match deteriorated in driving rain.

Ben Marshall almost fooled Jakupovic on 72 minutes with a well-hit 20-yarder before the keeper made heavy work of keeping out Paul Gallagher's deflected free-kick.

Hull made a late push for the points but Schmeichel twice denied Simpson, latterly when the striker headed straight into his arms at close quarters.

Millwall 1 Leicester 0: match report

Millwall 1 Leicester 0: Taylor nails Foxes and puts Jackett's men back on track

PUBLISHED:

17:22 GMT, 15 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:22 GMT, 15 December 2012

Substitute Chris Taylor fired Millwall back into the npower Championship play-off places with the goal which sank fellow promotion hopefuls Leicester.

The winger struck midway through the second half of a scrappy match to condemn the Foxes to their sixth defeat on the road this season.

It meant a return to winning ways for Millwall's manager of the month Kenny Jackett, whose side's 13-match unbeaten run came to a surprise end at Ipswich last week.

Open sesame: Chris Taylor celebrates opening the scoring for the Lions

Open sesame: Chris Taylor celebrates opening the scoring for the Lions

Match facts

Millwall: Forde, Adam Smith, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry, Henry, Trotter, Abdou, Malone (Chris Taylor 46), N'Guessan (Keogh 66), Wood (Batt 79).

Subs Not Used: Maik Taylor, Wright, Feeney, Jack Smith.

Booked: Abdou, Shittu.

Goals: Chris Taylor 67.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Whitbread, Konchesky, Knockaert (Marshall 64), King (James 70), Drinkwater, Dyer (Futacs 70), Vardy, Nugent.

Subs Not Used: Logan, Schlupp, Moore, Lingard.

Booked: Nugent, Knockaert, Futacs.

Att: 10,189

Ref: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).

The latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Leicester actually made the livelier
start and David Nugent's shot was deflected wide before Jamie Vardy teed
up Andy King, whose effort was blocked.

But no-nonsense Millwall soon began to out-muscle City's flair players and there were few clear-cut chances in the first half.

Leicester have been linked with a
January move for Millwall's on-loan striker Chris Wood, who the Lions
themselves want to snap up on a permanent deal.

And the young New Zealander had Millwall's first chance after 20 minutes but planted his header wide.

Lions winger James Henry then fizzed a
long-range drive wide before finding Dany N'Guessan with a free-kick,
but the former Leicester forward's header was too high.

Liam Trotter also forced a smart save from Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel after finding space in the area.

However, Leicester passed up a decent
chance to take the lead in the 37th minute when Nugent met a free-kick
from Anthony Knockaert six yards out, but the one-time England striker's
shot was too close to home keeper David Forde.

Schmeichel was called into action again in first-half stoppage time with a diving save from N'Guessan's long-range drive.

Jackett's half-time team talk seemed to work wonders as his side dominated the early stages of the second half.

N'Guessan and Shane Lowry had shots blocked for Millwall before Taylor, on at the break, fired over the crossbar.

Wood got another sight of goal on the
hour mark but lifted his shot too high, while Danny Drinkwater fired
over the top for City.

But the deadlock was broken in the
67th minute when Trotter played a neat one-two with Andy Keogh down the
left and crossed for Taylor, who had a simple sidefooted finish from six
yards out past the helpless Schmeichel.

Leicester attempted to hit back and
Nugent fired wide before Forde saved Wes Morgan's stoppage-time shot,
but they could not find a way past a stubborn Millwall rearguard.

David de Gea should be proud of Manchester United status, says Peter Schmeichel

From zero to hero! Schmeichel hails De Gea's spirit after turning United career around

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UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 26 November 2012

Peter Schmeichel believes David de Gea should be proud of the way he silenced his credits after recovering from his nightmare start at Manchester United.

After a three-match absence triggered by the removal of his wisdom teeth, the Spanish goalkeeper is hoping for a recall when United look to consolidate their place at the top of the Barclays Premier League by beating West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

And, with the exception of Anders Lindegaard, there would be few complaints.

Head for heights: David de Gea has been much improved this season

Head for heights: David de Gea has been much improved this season

For although reservations still exist over De Gea’s ability to command his penalty area, the 22-year-old’s agility is beyond question.

And Schmeichel believes, just to reach this point, De Gea has shown an impressive mental strength.

'I admire David,' the legendary Dane said. 'I cannot remember anyone coming into Manchester United and being criticised the way he was.

'He was ridiculed every day. He was the subject of every debate in the media. Yet he still went out there with a smile on his face and managed to dig himself out of it.

'Very slowly he is working his way away from what people thought of him 18 months ago.

'You haven’t seen him defend himself in the media or shifting the blame elsewhere. He just gets on with it.

'He is young. At 22 he has things to learn but, mentally, there is definitely material there.'

Schmeichel knows he is the man all United goalkeepers are judged by.

De Gea has neither the personality nor, more importantly, the physical presence, to emulate the former Old Trafford hero.

Yet the man who captained United to their 1999 Champions League final triumph over Bayern Munich in his last game for the club insists it no longer matters.

Legend: Peter Schmeichel is the goalkeeper all others are measured against

Legend: Peter Schmeichel is the goalkeeper all others are measured against

'I was a different goalkeeper to David,' he said. 'I wouldn’t mind fighting for the ball in the air. But that is not what goalkeepers do these days. There is no need for it.

'The accent on football has changed. Striking the ball has changed. David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo started that. They have shown a way to strike a ball differently, so that means the quality of what comes into the box is different, which makes goalkeeping more difficult.

'If you look at the world’s top young keepers, I would say (Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper) Manuel Neuer is the only one who actually comes for the ball. Generally, that is not the way it is.'

Instead, they have become auxiliary sweepers, which is another area where De Gea excels.

'You only have to go 25 years back and a goalkeeper would boot the ball into the corner, the striker would chase it and get a cross in as quickly as possible,' Schmeichel said.

'That is not the way we play any more. Spain are double European champions and World Cup winners. Their way is the most effective way.

'These days passes are being made just two or three yards out of goal and they are being made to people who are being marked. That was an absolute no-no when I played.

'The guys now are so good with their feet. It is about keeping the ball and that is why goalkeepers are so important.'

Peter Schmeichel says Galatasary clash could be

Schmeichel: Galatasaray clash could give United players same career boost it gave us

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UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 19 November 2012

Peter Schmeichel believes Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter with Galatasaray could turn out to be just as significant a staging post in the careers of some Manchester United players as that infamous ‘Welcome to Hell’ game 19 years ago.

Schmeichel has been carrying out an ambassadorial role for United in Istanbul, attending the launch of a new partnership with Denizbank, their 11th sponsorship deal of the current financial year.

The numbers who later turned out to see the former Denmark keeper make an appearance elsewhere in the city underline the passion for football in Turkey, which was so evident in 1993.

Test of nerve: Danny Welbeck is among the squad who may be given a rough time in Turkey

Test of nerve: Danny Welbeck is among the squad who may be given a rough time in Turkey

Instead of Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane, it will be the likes of Nick Powell and Danny Welbeck having their eyes opened by the sheer fanaticism of the home supporters.

And, as on that previous visit, Schmeichel feels it is an essential part of their education.

'Those games in 1993 were the foundation for what we managed to do in the Champions League later on,' said Schmeichel.

'It was a point we could go back to. You could look at that and say this is what we did wrong and we never want to do that again.

'The manager didn’t have to tell us anything. It was something we had been through and we could deal with it of our own accord.'

And for Schmeichel, proof the lessons had been learned came three years later, when United headed back to Turkey to face Fenerbahce and, as a group, secured their first away win in the elite competition.

'It took us years to get into playing the right way in Europe,' he said.

'We had been hit so many times on the counter attack and were wondering how do we get from that point to the next. Between the Galatasaray game and the Fenerbahce one we went through some kind of education.

'/11/19/article-2235392-00E001DF00000190-700_634x421.jpg” width=”634″ height=”421″ alt=”Forged by fire: Peter Schmeichel (right) was part of the team that learned from the match” class=”blkBorder” />

Forged by fire: Peter Schmeichel (right) was part of the team that learned from the match

New boys: Alexander Buttner (left), with Robin van Persie have not been selected for the trip

New boys: Alexander Buttner (left), with Robin van Persie have not been selected for the trip

UNITED SQUAD

Sam Johnstone, Anders Lindegaard; Rafael, Alexander Buttner, Phil Jones, Tom Thorpe, Marnick Vermijl, Scott Wootton; Michael Carrick, Davide Petrucci, Larnell Cole, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Nick Powell, Ashley Young, Ryan Tunnicliffe; Javier Hernandez, Joshua King, Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda.

Though the atmosphere at Galatasaray’s new Turk Telecom Arena is not quite as intimidating as the one whipped up at the old Ali Sami Yen Stadium, it is still likely to be pretty ferocious.

What United would hope not to be contending with are baton wielding police at the final whistle, one of whom gave Bryan Robson a vicious whack amid chaotic scenes following Eric Cantona’s dismissal.

'It is boring and insulting to call it hostile,' said Schmeichel.

'It was different but at no point was I fearful for my life or my safety – apart from the police at the end of the game.

'Normally you just have an atmosphere. But these guys were singing when we arrived on the team coach two hours before kick-off. They were singing when we came out to inspect the pitch and they were singing when I came out alone to do my warm-up. They were still singing at the final whistle. It went on for hours and hours.

Welcome to hell: United are greeted with hostile banners back in 1993

Welcome to hell: United are greeted with hostile banners back in 1993

'When you look back it was just brilliant. It is the kind of atmosphere you would like to play in every time you play.'

The night was scarred by a goalless draw that condemned United to an unexpected elimination, which probably did not help Cantona’s mood.

'The referee was partly guilty because he could have managed the game better,' said Schmeichel.

'He should have calmed things down. But he didn’t. That is why the atmosphere got to the point it did.

'We were okay with it. We didn’t start anything. We had lost and just wanted to get out of there.

'Suddenly you had riot police in the tunnel. It was so weird.'

Learning curve: Could Javier Hernandez pick up a thing or two

Learning curve: Could Javier Hernandez pick up a thing or two

Joe Hart is cocky and his howler for England had been coming

Cocky Hart was an accident waiting to happen… England's No 1 must go back to basics

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UPDATED:

11:33 GMT, 15 November 2012

Roy Keane called it weeks ago. Joe Hart has got too cocky and it's time to get back on to the training ground.

Keane had spotted it, recognising a keeper with a Barclays Premier League winners' medal and England's No1 shirt to boot becoming too casual.

Schmeichel was saluted, lauded as the best keeper in the world following his move to Old Trafford after Denmark won Euro 92.

Fuming: Joe Hart is furious after conceding a fourth goal to Sweden

Fuming: Joe Hart is furious after conceding a fourth goal to Sweden

He became too self-assured, cock of the north after winning silverware as Manchester United's new No 1.

Ditto Hart. This is where the hard-work starts, keeping his head down after a disappointing performance in this prestige friendly.

What a mistake to make in the final minute, rushing out of his penalty area and failing to clear his lines with that awful header.

When it felt to Zlatan Ibrahimovic there was only one option and his outrageous, angled strike has embarrassed the England keeper.

Time for change: Hart endured a troubled night between the sticks

Time for change: Hart endured a troubled night between the sticks

This has been on the boil for some time, with his performances for club and country under scrutiny for the first time in his career.

He almost got to the top of his profession, but the trick is to stay there and become one of the goalkeeping greats.

That is a long way off after conceding four against Sweden, on the backburner after the flames went out in the Friends Arena.

He looked vulnerable from the moment he came rushing out off his line in the first half, getting caught as he attempted to clear a cross.

The England keeper did well to stop Ibrahimovic's stabbed first-half effort, but was unable to prevent him hooking the rebound into England's net.

Treble: Hart could also have done better for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's third goal

Treble: Hart could also have done better for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's third goal

He was exposed, brutally, after the break. He was late latching on Ibrahimovic's third and humiliated with his failure to clear the ball in the final minute.

Hart will be waking up in cold sweats after that error, turning round just in time to watch the Sweden striker's incredible effort nestling in England's net.

Roy Hodgson has other keepers, John Ruddy and Fraser Forster were both on the bench, and it is a wonder that England's manager had not called upon them.

Against Brazil in February, it may be time to look at alternatives.

Joe Hart howler for England has been coming

Cocky Hart was an accident waiting to happen… England's No 1 must go back to basics

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UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 14 November 2012

Roy Keane called it weeks ago. Joe Hart has got too cocky and it's time to get back on to the training ground.

Keane had spotted it, recognising a keeper with a Barclays Premier League winners' medal and England's No1 shirt too boot becoming too casual.

Schmeichel was saluted, lauded as the best keeper in the world following his move to Old Trafford after Denmark won Euro 92.

Fuming: Joe Hart is furious after conceding a fourth goal to Sweden

Fuming: Joe Hart is furious after conceding a fourth goal to Sweden

He became too self-assured, cock of the north after winning silverware as Manchester United's new No 1.

Ditto Hart. This is where the hard-work starts, keeping his head down after a disappointing performance in this prestige friendly.

What a mistake to make in the final minute, rushing out of his penalty area and failing to clear his lines with that awful header.

When it felt to Zlatan Ibrahimovic there was only one option and his outrageous, angled strike has embarrassed the England keeper.

Time for change: Hart endured a troubled night between the sticks

Time for change: Hart endured a troubled night between the sticks

This has been on the boil for some time, with his performances for club and country under scrutiny for the first time in his career.

He almost got to the top of his profession, but the trick is to stay there and become one of the goalkeeping greats.

That is a long way off after conceding four against Sweden, on the backburner after the flames went out in the Friends Arena.

He looked vulnerable from the moment he came rushing out off his line in the first half, getting caught as he attempted to clear a cross.

The England keeper did well to stop Ibrahimovic's stabbed first-half effort, but was unable to prevent him hooking the rebound into England's net.

Treble: Hart could also have done better for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's third goal

Treble: Hart could also have done better for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's third goal

He was exposed, brutally, after the break. He was late latching on Ibrahimovic's third and humiliated with his failure to clear the ball in the final minute.

Hart will be waking up in cold sweats after that error, turning round just in time to watch the Sweden striker's incredible effort nestling in England's net.

Roy Hodgson has other keepers, John Ruddy and Fraser Forster were both on the bench, and it is a wonder that England's manager had not called upon them.

Against Brazil in February, it may be time to look at alternatives.

Watford 2 Leicester 1 – match report

Watford 2 Leicester 1: Whitbread sent off as Zola's men drag Foxes out of top two spots

PUBLISHED:

17:53 GMT, 3 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 3 November 2012

Leicester were handed a second consecutive defeat as Watford recorded a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road.

The Foxes slipped out of the promotion spots after their fourth defeat of the campaign, as Gianfranco Zola's side completed a deserved win.

On-loan midfielder Almen Abdi gave the home side a 14th minute lead as he clinically netted his fourth goal of the season.

Wheeling away: Fernando Forestieri (left) celebrates doubling Watford's lead

Wheeling away: Fernando Forestieri (left) celebrates doubling Watford's lead

Match facts

Watford: Almunia, Hall (Anya 90), Doyley, Pudil, Cassetti, Hoban, Chalobah, Hogg, Abdi (Smith 86), Deeney, Forestieri (Vydra 79).

Subs not used: Bond, Yeates, Battocchio, Geijo

Goals: Abdi 14, Forestieri 68

Leicester: Schmeichel, Konchesky, Morgan, Whitbread, Moore, Drinkwater (Dyer 46), Marshall (Waghorn 62), King, James, Knockaert (Futacs 62) Nugent

Subs not used: Logan, Danns, Gallagher, Schlupp

Booked: Drinkwater, Whitbread

Sent off: Whitbread

Attn: 12,954

Ref: D'Urso

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Fernando Forestieri made it two after reacting the quickest following Kasper Schmeichel's terrific save to deny Daniel Pudil.

Leicester pulled one back three minutes later as top scorer David Nugent scored his sixth of the season.

But Zak Whitbread was dismissed for two bookable offences in the 83rd minute to kill off hopes of a comeback.

Watford welcomed back suspended duo Pudil and Nathaniel Chalobah to the side, while Abdi returned from injury.

Leicester were without the suspended
Ritchie De Laet and the injured Jamie Vardy, while Lloyd Dyer dropped to
the bench as Matty James started in a three-man midfield.

Watford started the brighter side and
had the first sight of goal after 11 minutes but Troy Deeney blazed his
effort from the edge of the area high over the bar.

But the Hornets opened the scoring
three minutes later. A clever pass from Forestieri released Abdi on the
right and the midfielder advanced towards Schmeichel before slotting a
low effort into the bottom corner.

Schmeichel was called into action
again in the 20th minute as Wes Morgan's clearance fell to Forestieri
whose low effort was well held by the Leicester goalkeeper.

It took the Foxes until the 30th
minute to create an opening, with Ben Marshall forcing a save out of
Manuel Almunia, before a powerful Morgan header was cleared off the line
by a well placed Jonathan Hogg.

Nigel Pearson replaced Danny
Drinkwater with Dyer at half-time, as he looked for more width from his
side, but the change did not have an immediate impact as the second half
got off to a quiet start.

And it was Watford who eventually had
the first opening as Deeney forced a stop out of Schmeichel with a
header just before the hour mark.

Pearson responded by bringing on Martyn Waghorn and Marko Futacs, but his side were soon two goals down.

Schmeichel pulled off a terrific save
to prevent Pudil's effort, but Forestieri pounced on the rebound and
tucked away the loose ball.

The visitors responded three minutes
later as Nugent controlled Paul Konchesky's cross and fired a low effort
into the corner of the net.

But any hopes of a comeback were
scuppered as Whitbread brought down substitute Matej Vydra and was shown
his second yellow card of the game.

Huddersfield 0 Leicester 2

Huddersfield 0 Leicester 2: Knockaert show, but Redknapp lined up to replace Pearson

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UPDATED:

22:24 GMT, 2 October 2012

Nigel Pearson is bracing himself for the sack, despite Leicester’s early-season form taking them into the thick of the npower Championship promotion race.

A spectacular brace from midfielder Anthony Knockaert lifted the visitors to second in the table but may not be enough to keep Pearson in a job.

The Leicester manager fears his departure is imminent after sensing that owner Vichai Raksriaksorn has lost confidence in his ability to secure promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

Knockaert blow: The French star scored a double for Leicester

Knockaert blow: The French star scored a double for Leicester

Match facts

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon (Woods 63), Norwood (Arfield 63), Clayton (Lee 63), Southern, Ward, Novak, Scannell.

Subs Not Used: Bennett, Wallace, Robinson, Spencer.

Booked: Dixon.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Moore, Morgan, St. Ledger, Konchesky, Knockaert (Marshall 90), King, Drinkwater, Dyer (Schlupp 77), Nugent, Vardy (Waghorn 80).

Subs Not Used: Logan, Whitbread, James, Futacs.

Booked: Knockaert.

Goals: Knockaert 30, 60.

Attendance: 13,821

Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands).

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

While Pearson braces himself for the axe, after barely 11 months in charge, it emerged that Alan Shearer and Iain Dowie have joined former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp on the list of potential replacements.

Redknapp appears to be favourite and Sportsmail understands contact has been made with him. But former England striker Shearer and ex-Charlton manager Dowie have also been sounded out, in case Redknapp decides against moving north.

A frustrated Pearson said: ‘I don’t know who is being mischievous in terms of these stories, but it is a bit of an irritant.’ Then reflecting on his side’s rise to within one point of top place, he said: ‘It gives us a platform to kick on from, and just shows what a good group of players we’ve got.’

Travelling fans chanted his name at Huddersfield.

It is unlikely to make any difference to Raksriaksorn, but Pearson could not have asked for much more from his players in what could prove his last game in charge than a dominant performance capped by a spectacular 30th-minute breakthrough.

Alex Smithies was handily placed to block a firmly struck effort from Jamie Vardy, in the 18th minute, but could do little about a wind-assisted long-range shot from Knockaert on the half-hour.

The France Under 21 midfielder took aim from 35 yards and unleashed a swerving, dipping left-foot drive that flew into the roof of the net.

If that was eye-catching, it was matched by his second goal, on the hour. Paul Konchesky looked to have cut the ball too far back from the left, but Knockaert reacted with a full-length dive that enabled him to backheel the waist-high ball past a startled Smithies.

David Nugent almost made it three, with a point blank effort Smithies somehow blocked. And Pearson defiantly declared: ‘There has been some rubbish said and written about our season so far but what goes on within the club stays there.’

Dejected Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson said: ‘We were beaten by the better side. They have to be one of the favourites for promotion.’

Harry Redknapp wanted by Leicester City

Redknapp wanted by Leicester's millionaire Thai boss to deliver Premier League football

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 29 September 2012

Harry Redknapp is to be offered the chance of an intriguing return to football with ambitious Championship club Leicester City.

Leicester's wealthy Thai owner Vichai
Raksriaksorn wants the former Tottenham boss to replace Nigel Pearson
after becoming frustrated at the way his 60million investment has
failed to deliver Premier League football.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

C'mon Harry: Ambitious Leicester want Redknapp

Raksriaksorn has outspent his rivals since taking over in 2010 but the club have twice missed out on promotion, first under ex-England boss Sven Goran Eriksson and then Pearson.

Eriksson splashed out on big-earners Jermaine Beckford, David Nugent, Kasper Schmeichel, Darius Vassell and Paul Konchesky but was sacked after finishing 10th.

His successor, Pearson, was just one position higher last season and his side secured their first away points of the season with a 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

On the up: Leicester won 2-1 at Middlesborough on Saturday

Tall order: Nigel Pearson is under pressure despite four wins in last five games

City's owners believe Redknapp has the profile, charisma and man-management skills to take the team up immediately and are prepared to back him with a Premier League-style salary and funds for new players.

The popular 65-year-old has been out of full-time work since June, when he sacked by Spurs. Earlier in the year, he was beaten by Roy Hodgson for the England job after being the red-hot favourite.

Redknapp, who contacted under-fire Ipswich boss Paul Jewell last week to rule out succeeding him despite being linked with the job, is now a TV pundit and consultant for League One Bournemouth.

But he wants a manager's job and may be tempted by Leicester, who have the financial clout to match their ambition.

Mark Hughes on Joey Barton, QPR signings and Manchester City

Mark Hughes: It's best Barton moves on… but let's focus on our 10 new signings

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UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 30 August 2012

We have signed a few players. It might look like a scattergun approach but it’s not. We start every summer with a wishlist, but don’t usually get everyone! We've done our homework, we are not just collecting players. We've signed some very good ones from big clubs like Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

The one player we didn’t expect was Julio Cesar. He’s a fantastic signing for this club. It has been called a statement signing, but I don’t like that. It’s a football signing. He wants to be part of the story of where this club is heading.

We have not spent a fortune, we have built up good contacts in the game. We have negotiated some good deals that will not damage the club.

Exciting times ahead: Mark Hughes is looking forward to the rest of the season after a busy summer with QPR

Exciting times ahead: Mark Hughes is looking forward to the rest of the season after a busy summer with QPR

I also have an ambitious chairman, Tony Fernandes, who is the best I have worked for. Julio Cesar sat in Tony’s house and liked what we had to say. He showed a desire to play in the Premier League and to listen to what we are trying to achieve.

He is some goalkeeper. I played with some good keepers, including Peter Schmeichel. I worked with some good ones too, such as Brad Friedel, Shay Given and Joe Hart.

Julio is a fantastic shot-stopper who has a control of his area. He’s won 64 caps for Brazil. That tells you it all. And he’s only 32. Brad is still playing in the Premier League at 41.

It was always my plan to sign two goalkeepers. I just didn’t expect one of them to be a Champions League winner from Inter Milan. We’ve had different keepers in all summer, taking a look at them. Rob Green now has to rise to the challenge. Competition for places is what I wanted.

The squad required major surgery, that has now happened and I expect us to have a good season.

I back my record in the transfer market. Vincent Kompany is the captain of the English champions, Mousa Dembele I signed for Fulham for 4million and they sold him this week to Tottenham for 15m. Chris Samba cost Blackburn 450,000 and was sold for over 12m.

They don’t all work as well as those, mind, but they’re not bad.

Keeping the transfer window open after the start of the season is not helpful to managers. But it has been helpful to us this time. We have a lot of quality now.

I’m looking forward to watching training. I don’t play any more. I would just get in the way and we want the training to have the required intensity. The new players will enjoy the sessions my staff and I put on.

Losing 5-0 to Swansea was not in the plan. It took us by surprise, we didn’t see it coming. We had a good pre-season; a lot of travelling, but a good pre-season and we were happy with preparation.

Top stopper: Hughes hopes Julio Cesar can be as key to him as Peter Schmeichel

Top stopper: Hughes hopes Julio Cesar can be as key to him as Peter Schmeichel was to Man United

Top stopper: Hughes hopes Julio Cesar can be as key to him as Peter Schmeichel was to Manchester United

Then along came Swansea. They scored a terrific second goal as we chased the game and then they picked us off. The result sounds awful. Actually, it was awful.

But the signings this week are not a knee-jerk response to that defeat, even though it might look that way. These players were always on our wishlist and the chairman has been brilliant. Now we have to see where we can take this club.

We won’t go through this process again. It won’t be spend, spend, spend all the time. But I can’t say we are finished yet. There is still until 11pm on Friday.

I said in an earlier column for Sportsmail that I wanted to improve on the squad and bring in quality. We have done that. I’m looking forward to seeing this team settle down and play.

We have some interesting games coming up… Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs. Top players thrive on big challenges. Let’s see what we can do.

I congratulate City on winning the title last season. They beat us on the final day — you may remember. It was crazy when they won right at the death. It would be good to think we owe them one. They have an outstanding team, but let’s have a go.

Attacking football has been rewarded already this season, although we can’t be gung-ho. I signed a little fella called Carlos Tevez for City, but I won’t be asking him to go easy on us. He looks a threat again and has a sparkle in his eye. He looks settled, but we have goalscorers too.

Unexpected: Swansea handed QPR an opening day thrashing which surprised everyone, including Hughes

Unexpected: Swansea handed QPR an opening day thrashing which surprised everyone, including Hughes

There are similarities between what we
found at QPR and when I took over at City. Things just weren’t in place.
There wasn’t the infrastructure to fulfil the demands of the owner. And
that takes time. The owner understands what we want to build and what
it will take to get there.

I want QPR to be in a different place — so what’s my target for the team

We were almost relegated last season. It may take two, three, four years but we want to build something here. The ground can be a hostile fortress for us and we have a good record at Loftus Road, where the supporters create a terrific atmosphere that helped us to some big wins last season.

Better off gone: Joey Barton has left for Marseille

Better off gone: Joey Barton has left for Marseille

Swansea was a blip. Since then we got a point on the road at Norwich and we have beaten Walsall at home in the Capital One Cup. It’s a start.

One of the players who has left the club is Paddy Kenny. You would have read in these pages about his texts and voicemails. It was an unfortunate episode between professional people. It shouldn’t have happened, but he has apologised and it’s over now. We move on. We needed different personnel and we now have Robert Green and Julio Cesar. I wish Paddy all the best at Leeds.

Another who is close to leaving is Joey Barton. A number of options have been presented to him and I hope this latest one works out for him at Marseille. It’s better for him to move on and get on with his football career. I don’t really have anything more to say on the matter.

I’m not on Twitter. And I won’t be. I just don’t get it. But then I guess not everyone has a newspaper column. I will report back in a few weeks. Hopefully I will have some Premier League wins to include.

This column should have appeared after the Swansea game, but I thought it was going to be an interesting final week of the transfer window. And that’s how it’s turned out.

It’s good to have exciting signings to write about. Esteban Granero is another terrific capture, which takes it to 10. Park Ji-sung, Jose Bosingwa, Junior Hoilett, Samba Diakite, Fabio, Ryan Nelsen, Andy Johnson, Rob Green and Julio Cesar. That looks like good business to me.

Mark Hughes donates his fee for this column to Great Ormond Street Hospital