sport

Bellamy calling for patience

Cardiff striker Craig Bellamy has stressed the importance of patience to his side's fans as the Championship pacesetters chase promotion.

In-form Cardiff claimed their seventh win in their last nine matches with their 2-1 home victory over high-flying rivals Crystal Palace on Boxing Day and they head into Saturday's visit of Millwall boasting a five-point lead at the top of the table.

The Bluebirds have now won 11 of their 12 league matches at home this season and will be expected to add another three points this weekend, but Bellamy has urged supporters not to became frustrated if things do not immediately go to plan.

"The fans were okay (against Palace), but I still remember the first 10 and 15 minutes when one or two passes went backwards and there were one or two boos," Bellamy, whose side went behind after just four minutes before hitting back for victory, told Cardiff City Player.

"Sometimes you have to keep the ball. We went a bit direct too early and, credit to Palace, they soaked that up and knew what we were doing. We had to be a bit more patient."

Cardiff's bid for promotion was boosted not only by their win over Palace, but by the fact a number of their rivals at the summit dropped points on the same day.

Palace's loss in Wales left Ian Holloway's men without a win in four matches and saw them drop to fourth place, seven points behind the pacesetters.

This weekend they travel to Nottingham Forest, who despite lying just one point outside the play-off spots following their 4-2 win over Leeds sacked manager Sean O'Driscoll this week and replaced him with Alex McLeish.

Second-placed Hull saw their four-match winning run come to an end with a goalless home draw against early-season title favourites Leicester, who are fifth.

Hull now face a testing lunchtime Yorkshire derby at home to Leeds, who had won five of their last six in the Championship prior to their defeat to Forest.

Leicester go to Burnley while third-placed Middlesbrough are at home to Blackpool and sixth-placed Watford travel to Brighton in the day's late kick-off.

At the other end of the table, rejuvenated Peterborough will hope to climb out of the relegation zone if they can claim a fourth successive victory when they go to bottom side Bristol City.

Posh manager Darren Ferguson told the Peterborough Telegraph: "Obviously it's a massive game for us at Bristol and if we win we put six points between them and us and we will hopefully close the gap on those teams above us.

"There are always one or two teams who fall into the relegation battle in the second half of the season and we must make sure we are well placed to take advantage.

"We looked a very confident side at Wolves on Boxing Day and the lads can't wait to get stuck into another game."

Fellow relegation battlers Sheffield Wednesday are also looking to make it fours wins in four as they make the short trip north to Huddersfield.

Second-bottom Barnsley play host to a Blackburn side who also sacked their manager this week, with Henning Berg dismissed after just 57 days in charge.

Also this weekend, Bolton host Birmingham, Ipswich go to Wolves and Charlton meet Derby.