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A pre-match view from Watford

Vital Wednesday caught up with Tom Bodell, from sister site Vital Watford, to get his thoughts ahead of tonight's match at Hillsborough.

The last time you were up in these parts you hit six against Leeds - are you confident of another comprehensive win against Wednesday?

A win? Yes. Comprehensive? No.

The humping of Leeds was a one-off. Don't get me wrong, we played well, but we took advantage of the fact they had 10 men for over an hour and nine men for a good chunk of the game. It was the kind of result that had been coming all season; it`s rare we don't carve out a plethora of chances, we just hadn't been taking them. Leeds provided us with that opportunity and everything we hit flew in.

Looking ahead to Tuesday's game, you're on a bad run, but it's always dangerous to assume you'll walk over a side that's short of form. I fancy us to win, but I think it will be a fiercely-fought contest if nothing else.

You're sitting eleventh in the table before the match - are you happy with how you've done so far this season?

Yes, absolutely.

I've said since day one that if we can match or better last season's 11th placed finish then we will have justified the sacking of Sean Dyche. There was a point on Saturday when 2-0 up at Blackpool that we could have skipped all the way into 6th or 7th.

Earlier in the season when we were shipping goals for fun and failing to take the numerous chances we created for ourselves I seriously worried that it would be a return to 15th, 16th or 17th as the team struggled to gel all campaign.

Now though I think we're getting their and quicker than everyone expected. Who knows what we can achieve this term?

There seems to be quite a change in personnel at Watford since Zola's arrival - fill us in.

Crikey - I have so much to say on the subject!

In short the Italian Pozzo family took over from the previous owner and fan's hate-figure, Laurence Bassini. Their background is in football having owned Udinese for 25 years with great success and latterly Granada with a similar degree of rapid improvement.

They sacked Dyche, wrongly in the view of 99.9 per cent of supporters, brought in Zola and appointed Technical Director Gian Luca Nani who subsequently signed 14 players on-loan: two from Granada, 10 from Udinese, one from Standard Liege and one from Chelsea.

Apart from the Chelsea lad, Nathaniel Chalobah (a class above at 17), we have the option to sign them all permanently. Four of them - Fernando Forestieri, Matej Vydra, Almen Abdi and Daniel Pudil are all set to sign in January.

Martin Taylor made the move to Hillsborough earlier this season and it's fair to say Wednesday fans haven't been won over by him - what were your thoughts on his time at Watford?

A top bloke and a wonderful player for us. Everybody was gutted to see him go on deadline day and the fact that we lost 5-1 to Derby the following day with hapless left-back Carl Dickinson filling in for him exacerbated things.

In reality though, Taylor had not been at his best this season and was part of a defence which was leaky at best before he departed.

He was comfortable with the ball-playing style but looked short his imperious best this season. Overall though, he arrived when we desperately needed some bulk and experience at the back and did a sterling job for us for three years.

Who's the one player we should be looking at as your key man on Tuesday night?

Forestieri has been superb. He's one of the most exciting players to pull on a Watford shirt in recent years, and even though he doesn't score as many goals as he maybe should, he causes absolute chaos, brings others into play and makes things happen.

He's our own Lionel Messi - brought up in the Rosario part of Argentina before moving to Italy and representing their U21s - he is diminutive and with his low centre of gravity he slinks past players for fun.

Love a tumble too - which can get a bit theatrical truth be told.

...and what about weaknesses? If there's a way to beat you, what is it?

Former Italy international Marco Cassetti is very adept on the ball and going forward, but at 35 he`s understandably shot for pace. Jermaine Johnson could cause him some problems down the left as Ikechi Anya is the other player likely to play there and he is injured.

Apart from that we are capable of shooting ourselves in the foot (like every team really) and switching off when in the lead.

Where to do you think both sides will end up this season?

I'll stick my neck out and say we'll finish in the Play-Off's - it doesn't hurt to be optimistic sometimes - and Wednesday will avoid relegation. I'm pretty sure there's enough quality and experience there to stay up.

Finally, what's your score prediction?

2-1 to Watford.

Cheers Tom - and good luck to Watford for the rest of the season, after tonight, of course...




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 27 2012

Time: 11:00AM

Your Comments

Sorry - Not interested.
OurMaurice
OurMaurice, i couldnt have said that better myself lol
chris83owls
Not interested in how our opponents shape up before playing us? Bizarre. Thought it was an interesting read, especially the bit on Taylor.
spirtySWFC
I'm much much more interested in how we line up as I believe if lined up in a formation that works with the players knowing what roles they are playing - we definately have enough to be beating Watford. as for the Taylor section I would agree wiht that - he has not been at his best this season and for me he is just another player we have signed a couple of seasons too late
wedalways
 

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