Championship: Gianfranco Zola is feeling the buzz at the Hornets while Blackpool rock
Monday 27 August 2012
Gianfranco Zola believes his Watford team are on the right path to becoming a force in the Championship.
The former West Ham manager saw his players make it two wins from three games as they beat Birmingham City 2-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with the goals coming from the on-loan Udinese pair, Almen Abdi and Matej Vydra, inside the first 20 minutes.
Watford gave a first-class performance in the opening half but faded and Birmingham finished the match strongly.
Zola said: "I was really pleased with the performance. We scored two goals, created plenty of opportunities and played plenty of good football.
"It is a pity we couldn't keep the same rhythm in the second half and we conceded too much space to Birmingham. It is something for us to build towards in the future."
Blackpool are the only team in the top tier of the Football League with three wins from three matches after Ian Holloway's side thrashed Ipswich Town 6-0 at home. An own-goal from Aaron Cresswell was followed by further efforts from Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Tom Ince, who scored twice, Craig Cathcart and Nouha Dicko. Holloway is confident he can keep Ince beyond Friday, when the transfer window closes, believing the midfielder's father, former England captain Paul Ince, will ensure he remains at Blackpool.
"The transfer deadline doesn't bother me because he's got his dad who understands what is best for him," Holloway said. "He knows that Tom needs games to develop and he's at a very good place to do that. I spoke his dad and he wants him to stay here."
Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers are two points behind the early leaders. Wednesday beat Millwall 3-2 at Hillsborough, while Blackburn won by the same margin at home against Leicester City, with Morten Gamst Pedersen scoring the winner.
Pedersen celebrated by using a walking stick on the touchline – in reference to Blackburn's global advisor Shebby Singh branding him a "pensioner". Rovers manager Steve Kean said: "It was a little bit tongue in cheek and dressing-room banter."
Luciano Becchio scored twice as Leeds United won 2-1 at Peterborough United, while Ashley Barnes and Craig Mackail-Smith did likewise in Brighton's 5-1 home win over Barnsley. Wayne Bridge also scored from 35 yards for the Seagulls Barnsley manager Keith Hill said: "The opposition were excellent and it could have been up to 10-1."
Huddersfield Town's in-demand striker Jordan Rhodes scored in the 2-0 home win over Burnley, and manager Simon Grayson said: "Like any other player, Jordan has his valuation but we don't want to sell him."
Bristol City beat Cardiff City 4-2, with Martyn Woolford scoring twice for the Robins, while Middlesbrough edged out Crystal Palace 2-1 at the Riverside.
Wolverhampton Wanderers had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Theo Robinson equalised for Derby County with the last kick of the game. Stale Solbakken, the Wolves manager, said: "We have to try to bring in some players to increase the competition."
Charlton Athletic and Hull City played out a goalless draw in stormy conditions at The Valley, Hull assistant manager Steve Agnew said: "It was entertaining, the thunder and lightning brought the game to life."
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