Bothroyd issues Cardiff team with warning

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The Independent Football

Cardiff captain Jay Bothroyd has warned his team-mates that nothing less than six points from their next two games will do as they aim for promotion.

The Bluebirds lie second in the npower Championship ahead of tonight's clash with Crystal Palace at Cardiff City Stadium, having recovered from defeats to Ipswich and Leicester with a 2-1 win over Millwall at the weekend.

And striker Bothroyd knows more of the same will be required if the Welsh side are to remain on course to get over last term's play-off heartache by securing a place in the Barclays Premier League.

"If we mean business about earning promotion this season then we have to make it three wins from three games," the striker told Wales Online.

"We have won against Millwall and the next two matches are vital. We have to improve. It's not good enough to say it was a mistake when we concede a goal."

Leicester manager Paulo Sousa is not feeling the pressure as his side look to haul themselves off the bottom of the table at Norwich.

It has been a difficult start for the Foxes, who have picked up just a solitary win and two draws from their opening eight league games.

On Friday night they were hammered 6-1 by fellow strugglers Portsmouth at Fratton Park after the dismissal of Miguel Vitor when trailing 1-0.

But Sousa is adamant his side can get back on track, and also says he does not fear for his own future at the club.

"We need to keep fighting and the fans need to believe in us," he told the Leicester Mercury.

"We feel terrible but we want to turn things. I see good spirit in the squad.

"I never feel under pressure. I feel very secure in myself and very positive. We will turn things around.

"Everyone is sad but proud with the way the players tried to turn things around (at Portsmouth)."

Watford have proved to be a surprise package this term, with Malky Mackay's side lying third in the table after their impressive 3-1 win over Middlesbrough.

The Hornets host Swansea, who are managed by former boss Brendan Rodgers, at Vicarage Road, with Mackay hailing the work-rate of his squad.

"We said 'when you come into training every day give everything you have got and we, as staff, will try to help you in every way' and I think they have grasped that," he told the Watford Observer.

"The players have looked at it and thought 'I can be a part of something here'. There is a real togetherness. There are no egos and that is why we won the way we did against Millwall (6-1), because in the last five minutes I had players trying to shut down a left-back to stop him delivering a ball and then make a 60-yard run back again.

"I get that on a daily basis and that is one of the pillars for me as a manager as far as I am concerned - you will have effort and dedication as a group on a Saturday."

Leaders QPR face London rivals Millwall at Loftus Road while Leeds host Darren Ferguson's struggling Preston.

Gordon Strachan will look to get Middlesbrough's season back on track when they travel to Derby. Hull will aim for back-to-back away wins when they meet Burnley at Turf Moor, having ended a run of 30 games without a victory on the road against Norwich.

Nottingham Forest host Sheffield United and Coventry are at home to Doncaster. Bristol City are at Portsmouth while Scunthorpe face a Yorkshire derby with Barnsley and Reading meet Ipswich.