Players to recharge batteries

Starting on 1 April with a trip to Ipswich Town, Blues have eight games left to play in the space of five weeks.

But having secured a point against promotion favourites Newcastle United at the weekend, they were able to head into the break with a positive result and performance.   

"It is a real confidence boost going into the international break (after drawing with Newcastle)," said Zola.

"It would have been more difficult going into the break on a defeat, it would have been much worse.

"The days between now and the game we play against Ipswich are very important and on the back of the Newcastle result it is going to be easier for me to prepare for it."

Zola continued: "The players have been playing a lot of games and they need to recover so they will have three or four days off at the beginning of the week.

"Then they will come back and work all the way through to the game against Ipswich. 

"We are going to use most of the time to train, we need to train and to do a lot of stuff. 

"It's a very, very important time, I have been crying out for this time for weeks and weeks."