We head into the Watford game off the back of three wins and three clean sheets in all competitions. Yes, we’ve played twice in the cup against lower league opposition, but arguably our best performance came last Saturday when we beat Cardiff at their place 2-0. A team, as everyone knows, who made the playoffs in the 2019/20 campaign.
So, next up for us are Watford, and it’s the first game we will be playing at home this season. Some may say it doesn’t matter too much as fans aren’t in the stands, but it means there’s no travelling, and therefore more time to prepare. And, of course, Watford will have to make their way up the country. Again, I’m unsure of how much all this will affect what happens on the pitch.
Watford started their Championship campaign with a 1-0 victory over Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough. I watched the match, and while I appreciate they have a lot of players missing for one reason or another, they didn’t play great. But, they do say that’s the mark of a good side, being able to get results when not necessarily setting the world alight with how they played. Vladimir Ivic’s side were close to exiting the Carabao Cup midweek before a late Ken Sema goal forced a penalty shootout, which the Hornets won.
I can see the reality of our situation, and I know tough days will come our way, and that could be tomorrow. But, I get the feeling many see the Watford game as one where a draw would be a good result for us, and maybe the best we can hope for. I had similar thoughts in a way pre-Cardiff, but after what I’ve seen in the last two games, there’s no reason why we can’t go out there Saturday, put in a shift, and take the three points. It’s not a given, but it’s something we’re capable of doing.
What I’m eager to see is that unity and togetherness. I hear all the time, especially on podcasts such as Under The Cosh, how teams were successful in what they were trying to do because they had a good dressing room, and the bond was strong. We’re seeing this at Wednesday now, and while it is early days, these are the foundations which will lead us to brighter days. And, credit to everyone for creating this new and more positive culture.
I did have concerns about our defending heading into the Cardiff fixture. But, to my surprise, we didn’t look shaky and seemed more compose and in control. We mixed things up against Rochdale but still looked fine at the back. Watford will ask bigger questions of us, and different ones to those posed by Cardiff, so it’s another test for us. But, I’m keen to see how we fair, and if we can make it four clean sheets from four.
At the top of the pitch, everyone knows we want to add one or two more, but we have three senior strikers, and they have all netted this season. I think Garry Monk will select Jordan Rhodes and Josh Windass as his starting pair, with Elias Kachunga on the bench. Rhodes scoring again would be tremendous for us, and for him, and Windass is in form right now.
No game in the Championship is easy, as we know any team can win on their day. However, we must embrace every challenge which comes our way and believe that if we work together and believe in each other, we can come out on top.