Zola delivers verdict on Leeds ahead of Birmingham clash
By Alex Stevens
Gianfranco Zola has claimed Leeds are in “good health” ahead of their showdown against Birmingham on Friday night.
Zola’s side host the Yorkshire-based promotion chasers at St Andrews in a match that will place the spotlight further on the under-fire Italian.
Birmingham were in promotion contention when they sacked Gary Rowett before Christmas but have slipped alarmingly under former West Ham and Watford boss Zola.
The Chelsea playing great oversaw a horror run of five defeats in six matches before last week’s much-needed victory over Wolves.
By contrast, Leeds are fourth in the Championship table, 10 places and 18 points clear of Birmingham.
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“They’re in a good position,” Zola said of Leeds, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post. “They’re a team in good health.
““Obviously they are the favourites, they have the advantage, but as long as we play with the same resilience and organisation we stand a very good chance. If we stay together and work together like at Wolverhampton we can get to a better position.”
Garry Monk took over a Leeds team that finished 13th last season and, despite the club making a net profit in the transfer market, has steered them to a virtually certain play-off position.
Leeds are eight points clear of seventh-placed Fulham with 12 matches of the campaign remaining and are well placed to battle for a place in Wembley’s Championship final in May.
Automatic promotion is a more distant prospect for Monk’s men given the dominance in the division of leaders Newcastle and second-placed Brighton.