Slaven Bilic saluted “magnificent” West Bromwich Albion as the Championship leaders closed in on promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 win against Derby on Wednesday.
Bilic’s side powered to victory at the Hawthorns thanks to goals from Grady Diangana and Dara O’Shea.
West Brom are five points clear of third placed Brentford in the race for automatic promotion.
Albion need eight points from their last four games to end their two-year exile from the Premier League.
Second-placed Leeds host Stoke on Thursday and will return to the top with a victory, but Albion boss Bilic is delighted with the way his players have coped with the pressure of the run-in.
“The guys below are putting the pressure on us and Leeds, but it’s nice to be back on the top of the table,” he said
“We were magnificent, we were fantastic. I’m so proud of them.
“We had very offensive players but the way we defended was great. Everyone did the job.
“It’s not only three points, the performance is giving you belief and confidence.”
West Ham loanee Diangana opened the scoring after 11 minutes when he netted from a tight angle after latching onto Kamil Grosicki’s pass.
Albion never looked in danger and O’Shea wrapped up the points 14 minutes from the end, heading in Matheus Pereira’s corner.
Derby remain three points adrift of the top six and Louie Sibley was dismissed in stoppage-time after a kick on O’Shea.
Swansea strengthened their play-off bid with a 3-1 win at Birmingham.
Steve Cooper’s side came from behind after Lukas Jutkiewicz’s fifth-minute opener.
On-loan Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster, Ben Cabango and Jay Fulton were the scorers as Swansea bagged a second successive victory.
They move within a point and a place of the top six behind local rivals Cardiff, while Brewster made it eight goals in 16 games since his arrival from Anfield in January.
Wigan’s hopes of avoiding the drop were boosted as Kieffer Moore’s first-half strike clinched a 1-0 win over QPR at the DW Stadium.
Playing at home for the first time since last week’s announcement that they had entered administration, Wigan went ahead in the 33rd minute when Moore fired past Joe Lumley.
Preston kept alive their play-off hopes with a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.
Middlesbrough won 2-0 at Millwall to climb two points clear of the relegation zone.
Britt Assombalonga’s eighth league goal of the season and a late Ashley Fletcher penalty gave the visitors their second win under new boss Neil Warnock.
Goals from Famara Diedhiou and Jamie Paterson gave Bristol City a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Hull.