Hull City were the only top six team to win this weekend, after Stoke City and Watford drew with Blackpool and Plymouth, respectively; and Bristol City slipped up again – this time losing 2-1 at Cardiff.
Hull gatecrash the play-off party by moving up to third, above Watford, and two points above West Brom. Plymouth’s draw with out-of-sorts Watford keeps their play-off chances alive in sixth place.
Hull City are the in-form team as far as Coca Cola Championship football is concerned right now, after a 5-0 drubbing of Southampton last week and comfortably beating relegation contenders Leicester yesterday, with a convincing display.
Leicester held on until the last minute of the first half, before Dean Marney scored from Frazier Campbell’s cross. Substitute Caleb Folan made sure of the win as he raced through the Leicester defence to beatLeicester goalkeeper Paul Henderson; who had been The Foxes hero beforehand by saving a penalty from Marney.
In the post-match interviews, Leicester City manager Ian Holloway was certainly feeling the pressure when he stated:
“We have six games left and all I will say is we will have to do a damn sight better than that.”
While in contrast Hull City’s manager Phil Brown said it was always Hull’s intention to get to sixth place, now they need to stay in sixth position or above. Currently in third on goal difference above Watford, he said:
“It’s a big game for us against Watford next week. These players seem to be totally focused on the job in hand and it’s full credit to them.”
Since Christmas certain pundits have been suggesting Stoke and Bristol City were not going to stay the distance, and Watford and West Brom would rise to the top, come the end of the season. I’m pleased both Stoke and Bristol City have stayed in contention. But neither Stoke, Bristol City, Watford or West Brom have played their best football over the past few weeks.
Too many draws, grinding out results, whether a dip in form or big stage nerves. What is obvious to see is that Hull City have gradually sneaked into contention for automatic promotion, let alone a play-off place; and by beating Watford next week, they will be confirming their place in the top six.
Hull City are currently 7-1 to be Coca-Cola Championship champions with Blue Square. What’s the betting odds for Stoke and Hull for automatic promotion and Bristol City for a play-off victory?