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Home and away – Interview
Friday, 29th Jan 2021 18:03 by Clive Whittingham

A division-leading, title-winning home record offset by an away record only one point better than our own leaves Watford’s promotion hopes hanging in the balance. Richard Segal is our Vicarage Road regular.

How's Watford's season going?

I would say average so far, yes we are third in the league but a lot of the performances have been steady rather than spectacular. Although, obviously, a lot of the games were with the previous manager.

Watford league results so far…
Watford 1-0 Boro Cathcart 11
Sheff Wed 0-0 Watford
Watford 1-0 Luton Pedro 35
Reading 1-0 Watford Puscas 41
Derby 0-1 Watford Pedro 76
Watford 3-1 Blackburn Pedro 13, Cleverley 17, Lenihan og 49 – Brereton 28
Watford 1-1 Bournemouth Perica 13 – Mepham 90
Wycombe 1-1 Watford Stewart 66 – Sarr 52
Barnsley 1-0 Watford Mowatt 6
Watford 3-2 Stoke Cleverley 28, Pedro pen 61, Sarr 90 – Fletcher 2, Powell 81
Watford 3-2 Coventry Gray 53, Troost-Ekong 66, Sarr pen 83 – Hamer 63, Walker 64
QPR 1-1 Watford Chair 77 – Wilmott 3
Bristol City 0-0 Watford
Watford 4-1 Preston Quina 9, Deeney pen 52, Chalobah 58, Pedro 74 – Barkhuizen 55
Forest 0-0 Watford
Watford 0-1 Cardiff Moore 43
Watford 2-0 Rotherham Kabasele 4, Deeney 15
Birmingham 0-1 Watford Deeney pen 85
Watford 1-1 Brentford Deeney pen 60 – Toney pen 63
Huddersfield 2-0 Watford Campbell 9, Capoue og 32
Watford 1-0 Norwich Sarr 39
Swansea 2-1 Watford Lowe 43, 67 – Cleverley 20
Watford 2-0 Huddersfield Cleverley 54, Pedro 64
Watford 1-0 Barnsley Deeney pen 27
Stoke 1-2 Watford Fletcher 83 – Deeney pen 64, Sarr 68
Millwall 0-0 Watford

Looks like you're doing just enough to push for promotion and not a lot more, is that fair?

Yes, I would say that is fair, this is best summed up by our top scorer having six goals. The 18 goals conceded in 26 games has enabled us to be competitive in most games.

Vladimir Ivic didn't last long, predictably. What was wrong with him?

He was very negative with his approach and tactics, personally I would have sacked him after we had won away at Birmingham. Going to one of the worst teams in this division and with their 'best' defender injured he decided to play one up front, we managed to grab a penalty five minutes from team and get a one nil win.

Player power an issue here? Seems managers at Watford are fine until Troy Deeney decides they're not fine...

Maybe. There are so many rumours regarding Deeney and his influence, but if Ivic picked sides correctly before the alleged bust up then he might of been able to hang onto his job for at least another day or two...

Xisco Munoz, at least we assume it’s him, still three days to the game. Seemed a bit... left field, even by Watford standards. What's he changed so far?

I like him, yes very left field even for us. Looks like he has come in with a smile on his face and embraced the challenge. And, to reiterate, picking the correct team does help.

January transfer business conducted?

We would like to bring in another striker, Matej Vydra being linked. Playing Deeney and Pedro for the next 20 games is not going to happen and with the only option being Andre 'I’ve have had more lockdown parties then scored goals this season’ Gray we look short up top.

Summer Ins >>> Stipe Perica, 25, CF, Udinese, Undisclosed >>> Francisco Sierralta, 23, CB, Udinese, Undisclosed >>> William Troost-Ekong, 27, CB, Udinese, Undisclosed >>> Jeremy Ngakia, 19, RB, West Ham, Free >>> Glenn Murray, 36, CF, Brighton, Loan >>> James Garner, 19, CM, Man Utd, Loan

Summer Outs >>> Abdoulaye Decoure, 27, CM, Everton, £19.8m >>> Pervis Estupinan, 22, LB, Villarreal, £14.76m >>> Luis Suarez, 22, CF, Granada, £6m >>> Dimitri Foulquier, 27, RB, Granada, £1.8m >>> Roberto Pereyra, 29, RW, Udinese, Undisclosed >>> Jose Holebas, 36, LB, Olympiacos, Free >>> Danny Welbeck, 29, CF, Brighton, Free >>> Adrian Mariappa, 33, CB, Bristol City, Free >>> Pontus Dahlberg, 21, GK, Hacken (Sweden), Loan >>> Kwasi Sibo, 22, CM, Ibiza, Loan >>> Cucho Hernandez, 21, CF, Getafe, Loan >>> Adalberto Penaranda, 23, CF< CSKA Sofia, Loan >>> Jerome Sinclair, 24, CF, CSKA Sofia, Loan >>> Gerard Deulofeo, 26, LW, Udinese, Loan >>> Ignacio Pussetto, 24, RW, Udinese, Loan >>> Jorge Segura, 23, CB, Nacional (Colombia), Loan >>> Craig Dawson, 30, CB, West Ham, Loan >>> Heurelho Gomes, 39, GK, Retired

Winter Ins >>> Philip Zinckernagel, 26, CF, Bodo Glimt (Norway), Free >>> Rob Elliot, 34, GK, Newcastle, Free

Winter Outs >>> Etienne Capoue, 32, CM, Villarreal, £1.8m >>> Daryl Janmaat 31, RB, Den Haag, Free >>> Jose Cholevas 36, LB, Olympiakos, Free

Where is the team strong and weak?

As mentioned the 18 goals conceded in 25 games indicates how strong we have been defensively, this has been done with different centre backs and a change in goal with Daniel Bachmann coming in for the injured Ben Foster.

Do you think you'll see the promotion through?

I am not sure if automatic promotion will be achieved. With 20 games to go I believe we might have to win 14 or 15 of them. With the away form still being an issue (three wins from 13 with seven goals scored) and with trips to Norwich, Bournemouth and Brentford still to come what we do on the road will ultimately dictate where we finish up this season.

Links >>> Watford Official Website >>> WFC Forums – Message Board >>> Watford Observer – Local Press >>> Voices of the Vic – Podcast

The Twitter/Instagram @loftforwords

Pictures – Action Images

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TacticalR added 13:24 - Feb 1
Thanks to Richard.

That's an impressive defensive record. As for the Watford attack, our defence is usually fairly accomodating to opposition strikers who haven't scored in an age.

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