Second-placed West Bromwich Albion, who also have a game in hand, moved closer to Newcastle at the top of the Championship after a strong second-half showing saw off Peterborough 2-0 on Boxing Day.
Albion were below par before the break at The Hawthorns but a talking-to from their manager, Roberto di Matteo, at the interval did the trick. Luke Moore broke the deadlock before a Ryan Bennett own goal secured victory. Di Matteo said: "I told the players to stay patient because it is important to stick to your game plan. But I also had to raise my voice because I disagreed with how we played in the first half. When it is needed I can do that."
Nottingham Forest are two points further back in third after being held to a goalless draw at Watford. It could have been worse for Forest, with the Hornets claiming they were denied a last-minute penalty for handball.
Championship: Today's games
(3pm unless stated) Barnsley v Middlesbrough; Blackpool v Sheffield Wednesday; Bristol City v Watford; Doncaster v Leicester; Ipswich v QPR; Newcastle v Derby (5.20); Nottingham Forest v Coventry; Peterborough v Cardiff; Plymouth v Reading; Scunthorpe v West Bromwich; Sheffield United v Preston; Swansea v Crystal Palace.Reuse content