Belfast Telegraph

Swansea boss Rodgers chases Premier dream

Brendan Rodgers believes his Swansea side have the quality to push for promotion to the Premier League this season.

“I thought we were excellent,” Carnlough man Rodgers said after defeating Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday and moving three points behind leaders Queen's Park Rangers,.

“If you’re asking me if I think these players have the ability to challenge at the top end of the table, then the answer is yes.”

Darren Prately opened the scoring for the Swans, before Scott Sinclair added two cooly taken penalties to extend his tally this season to 16.

Dougie Freedman, who managed the 20th-placed Eagles for the first time as permanent manager in the loss, described the task ahead of him as the “most challenging of his life” but the 36-year-old has confidence in his team. “We have enough ability in this squad to keep us up,” he said.

Russell Martin's stoppage-time goal rescued a point for Norwich City against Cardiff City at Carrow Road and frustrated Bluebirds manager Dave Jones blamed the late equaliser on a “lack of concentration”.

Fourth-placed Leeds United are now level on points with Norwich and Cardiff after inflicting Scunthorpe to their ninth loss in 10 games with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at Elland Road.

On-loan 19-year-old striker Sanchez Watt, who will face his parent club Arsenal in the FA Cup replay on Wednesday, started the rout with his first goal for Leeds.

Paul Jewell's first game in charge of Ipswich Town got off to a losing start against Millwall.

“We have more quality than we showed,” Jewell, back in management after a two year absence, said after the 2-1 loss.

Nottingham Forest needed an injury-time Marcus Tudgay header to defeat Portsmouth and extending their unbeaten home league record to 32 games.

In-form Watford made it seven wins in a row in all competitons with a convincing 3-0 win over Derby. Hull creept into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win over nine-man Barnsley.

Leeroy Lita scored a brace against his former club, Bristol City, as Middlesbrough surprisingly won 4-0 at Ashton Gate.

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