Watford manager Gianfranco Zola predicts Championship promotion race will go to the wire

Watford beat Hull to close the gap on second

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola believes the npower Championship title is still far from being decided ahead of tomorrow's match against leaders Cardiff.

Cardiff are seven points ahead of second-placed Hull, who are one point above Watford in third, and also have a game in hand over both of their nearest rivals.

However, Zola does not think Malky Mackay's side have the title and automatic promotion all wrapped up yet following their recent dip in form which saw them win only one game during March.

"Cardiff are top and it won't be easy playing them, but we don't fear anybody," Zola told walesonline.co.uk.

"We won a six-pointer at Hull and now we have to beat the Championship leaders. The promotion chase will go to the wire, no team has secured that prize yet.

"It would be fantastic to achieve promotion with these guys. I am proud to be Watford manager and it would mean so much to everybody at the club and in the town if we go up.

"In fact, we have had more problems with the smaller teams than the big ones this season.

"Our dressing room was an amazing place to be after our win at Hull.

"Everybody was excited, but now we are focused on facing Cardiff."

Frazier Campbell is an injury concern for Mackay after he was substituted during the 3-0 win over Blackburn on Easter Monday.

The 25-year-old striker has scored six goals in 11 games for the Bluebirds since joining them from Sunderland in January.

At the other end of the table, relegation-threatened Huddersfield and Peterborough face each other at the John Smith's Stadium.

Both sides are currently in the bottom three although Peterborough are the team in better form, as they are unbeaten in their last seven games and defeated Cardiff at the end of last month.

In contrast, the Terriers have lost four of their last six games, but midfielder Oliver Norwood says his side are ready to dust themselves off for their next battle.

"Of course we all study the table and look at the fixtures which are coming up for all the sides who are in the mix, and there are a lot of them," Norwood told the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

"But there are only six matches we can have an influence on, and if we do the job in those, we know we'll be okay.

"It's a cliche, but it's true - we have six games left and because of who they are against, they are all pretty much six-pointers.

"It all starts at home to Peterborough on Saturday, a game we know we must win, and while we're all hurting, we'll be ready to go again."

In the other games, bottom side Bristol City travel to Burnley seven points adrift of safety while promotion-hunting Crystal Palace host struggling Barnsley, Nottingham Forest play Blackpool and sixth-placed Brighton face Leicester, who are just outside the play-off places.

Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn will look to boost themselves away from the bottom with what would be a vital win for both sides while Hull take on Middlesbrough, Birmingham play Millwall, Derby host Ipswich and Leeds travel to Charlton in their first game without Neil Warnock at the helm.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference