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Football | Barclays Premier League

Campbell key to Cardiff promotion bid

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay claims Fraizer Campbell's double in the 2-1 win over Bristol City shows the former Sunderland striker is the final piece in his club's promotion jigsaw.

Mackay's side are now eight points clear at the top of the Championship after Campbell, an ex-Manchester United trainee, marked his full debut by killing off struggling City on Saturday.

Campbell, signed from Sunderland during the January transfer window, opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time when he ran onto Tommy Smith's clever through ball and slotted past goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

And 12 minutes into the second half, Campbell scored his third goal for the club, more than he managed in the whole of last season for Sunderland, after a long throw from Aron Gunnarsson.

A bizarre own goal from Ben Nugent reduced the deficit in stoppage-time but Cardiff remain on course to reach the Premier League and Mackay believes Campbell's quality is starting to shine after a spell in the wilderness at Sunderland.

"I am delighted for him, you could see the quality there," Mackay said.

"You could see the intelligence, the strength and the link-up play. And for him to get the two goals is really pleasing.

"More than anything I am delighted about the lack of ego about the boy and the way he has thrown himself in to everything that we do here. He has not played a lot of football in the last few months but I felt it was time to start him."

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes his side can continue to defy the pundits after Egypt forward Gedo kept the Tigers' promotion bid on track in a 1-0 win over Charlton.

Bruce's men are second in the table and he acknowledges such a lofty position was not anticipated at the start of the campaign.

"We were 40-1 outsiders at the start of the season. People didn't give us a hope in hell but we're there or thereabouts," Bruce said.

"I can't see a reason why we can't go up. We've got 14 games to go and we probably have to win seven of them."

Troy Deeney bagged a brace as Gianfranco Zola's Watford thrashed Birmingham 4-0 at St Andrew's to maintain their promotion charge.

"It was a very good result," former Chelsea star Zola said. "I rate it one of the best performances considering the injury difficulties we had."

Glenn Murray took his goal tally to 27 for the season in Crystal Palace's 4-1 win against promotion rivals Middlesbrough.

Billy Davies was delighted with the response after his second spell as Nottingham Forest manager started with a 1-1 draw against Bolton at the City Ground.

Andy Reid struck first for Forest in the 59th minute, but Craig Davies got the equaliser in the 77th minute.

"For a new manager to step in and get that kind of reaction is superb," said Davies, who replaced Alex McLeish to become Forest's third manager of the season.

"The team were great, the fans were great but we just could not get the result that would have topped it off. The fact that we had 23 shots to their five says it all."

Elsewhere, Ipswich defeated Blackpool 1-0 and Derby were held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Wolves.


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