Instead, a lengthy rant at a reporter left Nigel Pearson under more scrutiny in a season in which the normally unflappable coach has lost his cool several times while his team struggles to avoid relegation.
After Leicester lost to Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday, Pearson took issue when he was asked to clarify his view that his team had received "criticism and negativity" this season.
In an uncomfortable verbal altercation, Pearson used an expletive, called the reporter "daft" and "stupid," and came out with a line that is generating plenty of buzz on social media.
"I think you are an ostrich," Pearson said, in his typically measured tone as he twirled on his chair. "Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no . I can, you can't."
Before walking out of the news conference, Pearson made his feelings known about the reporter.
"You are either being very, very silly or you are being absolutely stupid," Pearson said. "One of the two, because for you to ask that question... I am sorry, son, you are daft."
Pearson also made fun of the reporter as he stumbled while attempting a response to the coach.
"What's 'erm'?" Pearson said.
Pearson apologized to the reporter on Thursday — "I hope it doesn't ruin our relationship," he said at the start of another news conference — and blamed his outburst on losing and then being "wheeled out straight after the game" with emotions still high.
Still, the altercation is the talk of the Premier League, to some extent overshadowing the 3-1 victory for Chelsea that moved the team to within three points of winning the title.
After walking into a room of reporters Thursday ahead of his weekly news conference, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said jokingly: "Are there any ostriches in?"
"When you are down there dealing with the pressures that come upon in terms of staying in the Premier League, I think it is a huge pressure for everybody to continue to work under that situation and come through it," Allardyce said in defence of Pearson. "People have been talking about bullying and stuff like that — what a load of rubbish. It's an outburst. Simple as that, plain and simple."
Pearson has made plenty of headlines this season, mainly for the wrong reasons.
In December, he was handed a one-match ban for using abusive language in an exchange with a Leicester fan during a match. In February, Pearson placed his hands around the neck of Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur after the player had slid off the field into the technical area and collided with Pearson during a game.
That incident came at a time when there was fierce speculation about his job, but Pearson remained in his position and four straight wins in April has lifted Leicester out of the Premier League's relegation zone. With four games left, Leicester is a point above the bottom three.
Pearson has a reputation as a calm, plain-speaking man. He is also seen as a tough guy.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph newspaper last year, he recounted a story from a walking holiday in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. While walking alone, he was confronted by a pack of dogs, who often attack hikers and protect their owners' sheep.
Pearson says he fended them off with his walking pole before diving into stinging nettles. They then attacked him again but he managed to escape.Suggest a correction