Delighted Leicester manager Nigel Pearson was full of praise for his players after a 1-0 win against Middlesbrough took them into second place in the npower Championship table.

A 70th-minute goal from David Nugent gave City their fourth league win in a row and sent Middlesbrough to a third consecutive defeat. Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel added to their misery by saving a penalty from Marvin Emnes in stoppage time.

"It is a good feeling to be second in the table and I thought the players applied themselves really well," said Pearson. "We had a sneaky feeling that Middlesbrough would play the way they did with two wide players and no central strikers."

He added: "It caused us a few problems tactically, but in the second half we pushed the full-backs forward and took a few more chances. But I thought we coped well and throughout the game created the better chances.

"It was a good game all round and there were one or two tight decisions, and Kasper made a fine save at the end from the penalty.

"Because of the weather it has been a tough day for the fans travelling to the match and for a lot of people. But we are very pleased with the result, as it is games like these which can define seasons. We have put ourselves in a good spot."

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray, who revealed that because of the weather it had taken them two hours to travel two miles from their hotel to the ground, said: "We are very disappointed as I think we did enough not to lose the game.

"We created enough chances to get something out of the game. We played against a good side who have been free scoring all season going forward. They hit the woodwork three times, but we had some really clear-cut chances as well.

"We didn't stick them in the back of the net and goals change games. We have to be more clinical and it is a very frustrated dressing room.

"To have a penalty going into injury time and not score is very frustrating. But there are a lot of positives, enough to know we can go on our travels and win. We have got nothing to fear and we go into all games knowing that we can win them. But we need to be more clinical."