Championship Round-up: Rodgers talk ups Swansea's prospects
Monday 17 January 2011
After defeating Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday and moving three points behind leaders Queen's Park Rangers, Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers now believes his side have the quality to push for promotion to the Premier League this season.
"I thought we were excellent," Rodgers said. "If you asked me if I thought these players had the ability to challenge at the top end of the table, then the answer is yes." Darren Pratley opened the scoring for the Swans before Scott Sinclair added two coolly taken penalties to extend his tally this season to 16.
Dougie Freedman, who managed the 22th-placed Eagles for the first time as permanent manager, described the task ahead of him as the "most challenging of his life" but the 36-year-old has confidence in his team. "We have enough ability in this squad to keep us up."
Russell Martin's stoppage-time goal rescued a point for Norwich City against Cardiff City, a frustrated Bluebirds manager Dave Jones blaming a "lack of concentration".
Fifth-placed Leeds United are now level on points with Norwich and Cardiff after inflicting Scunthorpe's ninth defeat in 10 games with a 4-0 victory at Elland Road. On-loan 19-year-old striker Sanchez Watt, who will face his parent club Arsenal in the FA Cup replay on Wednesday, started the rout with his first goal for Leeds.
Paul Jewell started his reign as Ipswich Town manager with a 2-1 defeat against Millwall. "We have more quality than we showed," Jewell said after the loss.
Nottingham Forest extended their unbeaten home league record to 32 games, Marcus Tudgay heading home their injury-time winner against Portsmouth. In-form Watford made it seven wins in a row in all competitions with a convincing 3-0 win over Derby. Hull moved into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win over nine-man Barnsley.
Leroy Lita scored twice against his former club Bristol City as Middlesbrough surprisingly won 4-0 at Ashton Gate. The City goalkeeper David James was dismissed for bringing down Cameron Park.
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