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Championship Preview: Jackett confident Wolves are ready for top-six battle

Kenny Jackett has called for maximum effort on the final day of the Championship season as Wolves look to leap into the play-off places.

Four teams are in the fight for the final two spots in the top six ahead of Saturday’s matches, with Ipswich Town and Derby County currently occupying them.

Both sides need just a point to keep their promotion hopes alive when they face Blackburn Rovers and Reading respectively, but all is not lost for Wolves and Brentford.

Jackett’s side – who host already relegated Millwall at Molineux – would overtake Ipswich if Mick McCarthy’s men lose and there is an eight-goal swing in Wolves’ favour, or if Derby lose at home.

“All the players that play on Saturday will give it everything they have got,” Jackett told the club’s official website.

“I don’t want a half-hearted performance. We have to really focus on making sure we keep the pressure on the other sides.

“If there are any other slip-ups across the country then we’ve done our best and done our job.”

Brentford could also gate-crash the play-off party with a win over Wigan Athletic – who will join Millwall and Blackpool in League One next season – and defeats for Derby or Ipswich, while a draw for the latter and a four-goal swing could also see Mark Warburton’s team in the mix.

Bournemouth will join Watford in the Premier League next season – barring a 19-goal swing as they travel to Charlton Athletic and third-placed Middlesbrough host Brighton and Hove Albion – and both sides retain hopes of taking the title.

Watford are in pole position and at least matching Bournemouth’s result when they play Sheffield Wednesday will be enough for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men to be crowned champions, though failure to win opens the door for Eddie Howe’s history-makers to sign off for the season on another high.

Norwich City are assured of a play-off spot ahead their meeting with Fulham at Carrow Road.

The Championship’s relegation issues were sorted on Tuesday after Rotherham United’s win over Reading, leaving Steve Evans’ side a pressure-free trip to local rivals Leeds United on Saturday.

Blackpool – who will finish bottom of the table – face Huddersfield Town in their final second tier clash for at least a season, while Bolton Wanderers host Birmingham City and Cardiff City travel to Nottingham Forest.

Fri 1 May, 2015
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