Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nielsen: We're in Good Shape for the Playoffs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Nielsen: We're in Good Shape for the Playoffs

Article excerpt

Byline: LEO SPALL

ALLAN NIELSEN insists Watford can put their midseason slump behind them and relaunch their promotion push.

Although the Hornets were unbeaten in their first 15 League games, they then suffered an alarming drop in form.

Their chances of automatic promotion are now slim and if they lose at Birmingham tonight they could drop out of the top six tomorrow for only the second time this season.

Watford midfielder Nielsen said: "It has taken us quite a while to get back on track again and we are still not quite there, but I think we are in good shape to push on now."

Manager Graham Taylor is thought to be interested in Charlton defender Carl Tiler. Defender Paul Robinson (ankle) is doubtful.

FULHAM will go 15 points clear at the top of Division One if they beat second-placed Bolton at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

Manager Jean Tigana's only problem concerns Sean Davis, who pulled out of the England Under-21 squad this week because of a thigh strain and will face a fitness test.

QUEENS PARK RANGERS' experienced defender Danny Maddix completed his first game in more than 15 months this week.

The 33-year-old, who has not played since November 1999, helped the reserves to a 1-0 win over Wycombe.

Maddix, who has had three operations on a knee injury, said: "It has been a long road to recovery and I need to play a couple more reserve games for match fitness, but I was glad to be out there playing."

Midfielder Paul Murray, who broke his leg earlier in the season, also played for the reserves. QPR manager Ian Holloway, who takes control of his first game against Sheffield United on Saturday, is hoping to bring in players on loan CRYSTAL PALACE defender Fan Zhiyi is back after an eight-match absence through injury and suspension to bolster his side's bid to pull away from the relegation zone.

The Chinese international has been missed over the past six weeks as Palace have won only once, leaving them perilously close to the drop zone. …

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