Football

Championship preview: Cardiff City closing on promotion

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Malky Mackay remains focused ahead of Championship run in. (©GettyImages)
Malky Mackay remains focused ahead of Championship run in. (©GettyImages).

Cardiff City face a pivotal week in their quest to reach the Promised Land of the Barclays Premier League with a huge match at home to relegation-strugglers Barnsley tonight. 

Under Dave Jones the Bluebirds lost the Championship play-off final to Blackpool two-years ago, and the following season went out in the semi-finals at home to Reading. But, current manager Malky Mackay told the South Wales Echo his side are not celebrating just yet.

"For us it's a matter of going out there and playing the team in front of us," said Mackay.

The Scotsman is well aware of previous failures to reach the top division, and spoke of his teams desire to keep improving during the vital run-in.

"We have to remain hungry. Now is not the time to sit back and look at the progress that has been made. Absolutely not."

Tonight is their chance to almost touch the top flight, knowing that a win will take them eight points clear of second placed Hull City and a win on Saturday against Nottingham Forest will guarantee Mackay's side automatic promotion - should Watford fail to beat Peterborough United. 

The Bluebirds will be missing on-loan striker Frazier Campbell, who has six goals in 11 games since his January loan move. Joe Mason is set to start up front with defender Matt Connolly a serious doubt with a groin strain. 

Barnsley striker Kelvin Etuhu is a doubt after limping off at the weekend, but defender Martin Cranie returns. 

Millwall face Sheffield Wednesday tonight at the New Den ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic on Saturday and Kenny Jackett's side are boosted with the potential return of Karleigh Osbourne and James Henry. 

Richard Chaplow and skipper Paul Robinson are still missing for the home side and a win for their opponents would see Wednesday overtake Millwall in the league table.

Gary Madine remains doubtful for the Owls but striker Steve Howard could return. Seyi Olofinjana and Stuart Holden are both have knee injuries and are unlikely to be included.

Topics:
Football
Championship
Cardiff City
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