Leicester fans have no choice but to get behind Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson is still Leicester's manager, but only by the skin of his teeth, as the club sits in the relegation zone and his own behaviour continues to be erratic.

The 51-year-old was the subject of a heated board meeting following the 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday. And despite being initially (and perhaps still) outnumbered, chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was unwilling to part company with Pearson.

Other high-ranking directors had voiced concerns about Pearson's tactics and personal conduct, but after a confusing evening when widespread press reports had claimed he had been sacked, he remains in the Foxes' dugout.

Two incidents stand out in particular. During December's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, Pearson told a lippy fan to "die." He was handed a moderate FA fine for this and given an internal warning -- as much for stubbornly not apologising for what he said as for his choice of words.

Then, on Saturday, seemingly possessed by Hulk Hogan, Pearson wrestled Palace midfielder James McArthur to the ground before mildly (but certainly not playfully) choking the former Foxes transfer target ... perhaps because he turned down a move to the club from Wigan in the summer, opting for the London club.

When questioned about the incident -- which wasn't remotely light-hearted, despite how it was first billed -- Pearson had the audacity to simply shrug his shoulders and mutter: "I'm more than capable of looking after myself."

When Alan Pardew head-butted Hull's David Meyler it was miraculous that he kept his job at Newcastle. Pearson can also thank his lucky stars that he is still in charge at Leicester.

Given the transfer window has now shut, and there are only 14 games remaining, the timing for a sacking would have been all wrong, and that definitely worked in Pearson's favour -- as did the fact that a ready replacement wasn't available.

Survival specialist Tony Pulis has joined West Brom, Tim Sherwood is reportedly about to take over at Queens Park Rangers and hobbling Harry Redknapp needs a knee operation.

Foxes legend Martin O'Neill was the fleeting favourite to replace Pearson -- before an official statement confirmed he was going nowhere -- but I highly doubt the Republic of Ireland boss would have agreed to a sensational return to the club where he made his name in the late 1990s.

Personally, I wish Pearson had gone, and certain members of the board clearly agree, which doesn't bode well for his long-term future. Seemingly, he was verbally informed that his fate was in the balance, leading to false leaks of his exit.

Steve Walsh was even sounded out to take temporary charge. At this point the twittersphere erupted. However, Pearson was never actually handed a P45, but the club, by not immediately quashing such rumours, spectacularly fueled them.

In hindsight, considering Pearson survived a 13-game winless run over Christmas, it is no huge surprise that a loss to Palace didn't prove the end of his second spell at the King Power Stadium. Plus, results in 2015 have been largely positive. Yet the harsh truth is he isn't cut out for the tactical intricacies or pressure of the top flight.

Overall, Pearson has a 47 percent win rate at Leicester, but the Foxes are currently rock bottom of the table and heading into a horrendous trio of away fixtures against Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City.

Reports suggest the board told Pearson on Saturday night that he must win at least one of these three fixtures, with the City boss reacting angrily to such a demand. It is certainly a big ask to take three points from any of these games, yet Leicester desperately need to or they risk falling too far behind in the drop zone.

It could be even more damaging, however, to stick with Nigel, then in three games' time get rid of him -- so even if that ultimatum was proffered it's probably fair to say Pearson will now see out the season. Unless, that is, he puts any other opposition players into headlocks between now and May.

In an ideal world, a fresh perspective is still needed, but the dilly-dallying over the festive period means Leicester are stuck with Pearson. Thus players, fans and even critics like myself must rally around him.

We also shouldn't forget the manner in which he pulled Leicester from the doldrums of League 1 back into the Premier League, for which he will always be remembered with fondness whatever happens this campaign.

Leicester do still have the squad to get out of this mess, but certain key players need a run in the side. Pearson's biggest problem is not knowing (or at least backing) his best XI. The constant tinkering has unsettled the dressing room and stopped the strikers, in particular, from finding form and ultimately goals.

For example, club-record January signing Andrej Kramaric was fully fit for Palace, yet started on the bench. This will have irked the board, who would expect the Croat -- a goal machine at Rijeka -- to start having just forked out 9 million pounds. Pearson must pick a consistent XI, with the likes of Robert Huth, Riyad Mahrez and Kramaric surely automatic selections. Marc Albrighton also deserves an extended run in the side.

I sincerely hope Pearson uses this sacking scare to reform his ways and attitude. It was an oversight not to axe him during the bad run before Christmas, but in the absence of a quick and quality replacement it's the right decision to stick with him until the end of the season.

Let's now hope Pearson brushes off this saga as easily as he did the incident with McArthur and proves his naysayers wrong with a shock success at Arsenal on Tuesday.