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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
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

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea