The result at Wolves was disappointing, with the team seemingly settling for a one goal victory from half time onwards, but last night Watford were back to winning ways, and better still Hull lost and Cardiff only drew. Leicester's failure to beat Leeds effectively knocked them out of the automatic promotion race, so now it is any two from four, or any one from three if Cardiff recover from their blip and get back to winning ways quickly.
I am still uncomfortable with the way Watford are doing it, exploiting what Holloway called a "loophole" to field so many loanees, but as Watford fans insist, supported by the club's lawyers, no actual rules have been broken. It's true too that the presence of Duxbury and Nani at the club militate against any affection I might feel for the Hornets but, leaving all that aside, you have to admire the job Zola himself is doing.
I didn't rate the guy as a manager at West Ham but this lend lease arrangement, for the want of a better term, could have gone one of two ways. Tevez and Mascherano were head and shoulders above everybody else in Pardew's squad when they shipped up at Upton Park, but they didn't want to play for the club and that infected morale and triggered a disintegration of team spirit. The dressing room split into factions and the passion that carried us to ninth place and a cup final the previous season evaporated.
That could so easily have happened at Watford. But Zola has got everybody playing as a team and not every manager would have been able to do that. Warnock has talked about the problems he experienced when the influx of new players joined his promoted QPR squad and he failed to manage the situation, as did his successor Mark Hughes. Zola, in contrast, has got it spot on.
I expressed my doubts when he was appointed and have mocked a little a long the way, but hands up, even if he misses promotion come the end of the season, GianFredo has done a bloody good job this year. Perhaps he says Hail Marys as the team run out on to the pitch!