Gianfranco Zola's men were buoyed by a brace to Troy Deeney, while Ikechi Anya and Almen Abdi also got on the scoresheet at St Andrews to round out a forgettable week for Birmingham.

Manager Lee Clark moved to dump lanky striker Nikola Zigic from his first-team due to what he described as 'possibly the worst training session in terms of a professional footballer'.

However, it was City's defensive stocks that were under the spotlight after leaking four goals, and the club is just four points from the drop in 16th spot.

Watford are all smiles in third place, only three points behind second-placed Hull City, and entrenched in the top six as they hope to have a chance of being in the Premier League next term.

They are trailed by one point by Crystal Palace, who thrashed Middlesbrough 4-1 at Selhurst Park.

Glenn Murray got himself a brace, while Peter Ramage and Kevin Phillips were also on target as Palace went fifth on 55 points and Borough are on the brink of the top-six on 50 points.

Despite still holding a playoff place as it stands, Tony Mowbray's men have lost six of their past seven league encounters.

League leaders Cardiff City continued their charge towards the English top flight, with a 2-1 victory over Bristol City.

A Frazier Campbell double was the tonic for the Welsh club, who are eight points clear on top of the table, and 11 clear of Watford.

Cardiff's nearest challengers Hull City earned a narrow 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic, courtesy of Gedo's 33rd-minute effort.

Michael Chopra fired Ipswich Town to a much-needed victory over Blackpool in a 1-0 result that takes Mick McCarthy's men four points clear of the drop.

Nottingham Forest drew 1-1 at home to Bolton, while their rivals Derby County were also held at home in a 0-0 stalemate with Wolverhampton.