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Football | English Championship

Malky Mackay © Action Images

Mackay hails Cardiff's fighting spirit



Malky Mackay hailed his Cardiff side for proving they can bounce back and keep their Championship title charge going as they seek promotion to the English Premier League for the first time.

The Bluebirds are sitting three points clear at the top of the Championship after winning 1-0 at Leicester on Saturday – shrugging off their shock defeat at home to rock-bottom Peterborough the week before.

Meanwhile Crystal Palace blew their chance to overtake Hull in second place and narrow the gap on Cardiff to two points by drawing 1-1 at home to Huddersfield.

Mackay could not contain his delight at downing fifth-placed Leicester.

"This was a really big win for us after losing to Peterborough and it was smashing the way we bounced back from that," he said.

He paid tribute to goalscorer Craig Bellamy and warned the rest of the division that there was plenty more to come from the feisty Welsh striker.

"The goal was a great strike from Bellamy and it showed the quality we have.

"He is beginning to get match-fit, because he has been unfortunate with injuries. In this game he never gave the defenders a minute's peace."

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson said he would look to bring in a striker to boost their faltering promotion bid.

"We are putting together a promotion push but things have not gone our way in the last few weeks. What we must do is keep in contact with the sides in the automatic places," he said.

Middlesbrough are in fourth after losing 2-1 at Leeds thanks to a brace from Luciano Becchio in front of 25 400 spectators, the Championship's biggest crowd of the day.

It was Leeds' first match since GFH Capital completed their 100 percent buyout.

"It was a super day for our new owners at the end of a really positive week," said Whites manager Neil Warnock.

Watford moved up into sixth place, the final play-off spot, following a 2-0 win over visitors Nottingham Forest.

"Fortunately the way we started and, above all, the form of the two strikers made a big difference," said Watford boss Gianfranco Zola.

Millwall suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to lowly Barnsley, who are in the relegation zone.

Peterborough built on their victory at Cardiff with a 5-4 win over visitors Bolton in a thrilling match at London Road.

Though Peterborough remain rock-bottom, they are now only two points from safety.

Birmingham drew 2-2 at home to Burnley and Bristol City are just above Peterborough on goal difference after a 1-1 draw at Ipswich.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy said: "This league is bonkers and it will be that way until the end."

Sheffield Wednesday won 2-0 at home against Charlton to ease their relegation fears. The Owls sit just above the drop zone on goal difference.

Brighton's visit to Blackburn was postponed due to torrential rain.

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