What managers have said about the Championship promotion race after Leeds United's defeat

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The Championship returned to action this weekend as the promotion race picked up where it left off in March.

Just one team in the top six claimed all three points in typical Championship fashion across this weekend's fixtures - but what have the managers that are aiming for the top two spots had to say after the first round of games following the restart?

Let's take a look...

Fulham head coach Scott Parker. (Getty)Fulham head coach Scott Parker. (Getty)
Fulham head coach Scott Parker. (Getty)

The Argentine saw his side defeated 2-0 at Cardiff City on Sunday lunchtime as two mistakes cost the Whites on Wales.

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Kalvin Phillips handed Junior Hoilett the ball before the Bluebirds man went on to rifle an effort home while substitute Robert Glatzel capitalised on a loose pass from captain Liam Cooper in the second half.

Leeds, though, despite the loss ended the weekend with the same seven point gap to third after Fulham's defeat to Brentford on Saturday.

Bielsa said post-match: "Of course everything is in our hands, we can’t imagine the opposite.

"It’s the same situation as what we saw before today. The opportunity that we had today was important and we couldn’t take advantage of it. Now we have eight matches and we cannot think everything is set."

Slaven Bilic - West Brom (1st)

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West Brom - who now lead the division on goal difference after the restart - were held to a 0-0 draw by local neighbours Birmingham City.

The Baggies boss, though, was pleased by what he saw from his team.

"The only thing I was disappointed with was our final product – everything else was there," Bilic said.

"It wasn't skill, it wasn't quality. It's sharpness. And to get match sharpness you need matches.

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"Everything else was there. Don't get me wrong, we weren't brilliant.

"But considering everything, the fact it was the first game, there were no fans, we have not played for three months. I saw a lot of positive things.

"We never lost our shape, we never lost that front footed mentality. And we were motivated, the intensity was there."

Scott Parker - Fulham (3rd)

Parker watched his team fall to a 2-0 defeat in a West London derby to Brentford at Craven Cottage.

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The Cottagers were looking to close the gap on the top two but were made to pay late on by the Bees.

Fulham now face a huge clash with Leeds at Elland Road this coming weekend, and Parker says it's as big as it gets.

"Of course, it’s an important game," said Parker.

"But today (against Brentford) was important, the following week is going to be important, the next eight games left are going to be vitally important for us.

"They come no bigger (than Leeds) because you’re playing against a team who are top of the table, the challenge is there for us. Every week you have that.

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"The games come thick and fast and they’re tough games. We’ll prepare this week as best we can, and we’ll go and try to put a performance in next week to try and win the game."

Thomas Frank - Brentford (4th)

The Bees head coach watched his side claim a vital three points over Fulham to keep their top two hopes alive with both Leeds and West Brom slipping up.

Brentford now face a tricky clash against the Baggies on Friday night which is a must-win for their automatic ambitions.

Head coach Thomas Frank believes one man will be key to any hopes of a push for Premier League football.

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"We know if we want to have a chance to achieve what we’re dreaming about, Said (Benrahma) and some of our top players need top form," Frank said.

“Today (against Fulham) I think Said played a fine game but a tough game.

“He was a little bit not top sharp on his touches and decision making. But we still know he can make a difference.

“I was very satisfied with his goal today, because he just managed to be patient, stay away from the ball and work that last line in the box and that’s something we’ve constantly been working with him on."

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