The Opposition View: Watford

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 14 October 2010

Hornets fan Mark Ferguson answers the questions I put to him ahead of what should be an entertaining encounter on Saturday.

Watford
were pre-season favourites for relegation and yet currently find themselves fourth in the league. Are you surprised by this and do you think a serious promotion challenge is on the cards?

The start has been a very plesant surprise. On our travels we have performed very well in chalking up four wins and a draw at
Hull.

We have a mind-set to go out and attack rather than just sit back hoping for the best although we did have to defend well against a strong Sheffield United side last time out.

We do have a habit of giving away late goals albeit that has been at home rather than for away games.

The worry for many Hornet fans is that last season we had a pretty decent start as well before a couple of defeats and off field issues involving potential administration unsettled the side.

We have a pretty small squad (much like you guys) and we have to rather hope that the likes of Danny Graham and John Eustace stay fit and on form if we are to maintain our positive progress...in this league form can change very quickly!

Malky Mackay is obviously doing a good job, do you think he'll stay at
Vicarage Road for the long-term?

He is in the tricky position of having to work with limited funds and small squad for a first timer in management so suspect if Malky does do well he'll attract some sort of interest but its too early and he has a 2 year contract with us which is unlikely to be broken via a sacking unless results suddenly plummet.

Like you we are hardly in a position regarding money to start making major decisions management wise based on a bad run as some clubs do.

Danny Webber used to play for your club. What did the Hornets fans think of him?

He was a very quick and pretty skillful youngster as you might expect for what was then a Manchester United player.

Had a few injury problems including a disclocated shoulder which meant he had spells out of the side and also had to deal with losing a close team-mate from Man U in Jimmy Davies who died in August 2003 when on loan with us which maybe unsettled him.

It seems Webber's career has been blighted by injuries, even with you guys and he could have done a decent job in this league with the pace alongside Kitson or Nugent.

Danny Graham has been the star in your side and has recently signed a new contract. How good is he?

Thank goodness he has signed a new contract… it was due to end next summer!

A good all-round striker at this level in that its not just about scoring goals but Graham creates for others and can hold the ball up well.

He got 14 goals last season but had a long barren run of 20 or so without scoring and so we really cannot afford for him to repeat that this season!

He's still quite young so time to make progress and maybe move on if we got a bid around 1 - 1.5 million because sadly we still need money to make ends meet although not as badly as last December.

Aside from Graham, who are the other major players in the
Watford team?

John Eustace in central midfield is a fairly tough player (him and Michael Brown could be an interesting battle...likely to lead to a booking or two!) He leads the team well and can chip in with a goal.

We have Martin Taylor in central defence (infamous for the Eduardo tackle) who adds experience and most importantly height to the backline and Scott Loach in goal who probably isn't as good as some might expect for an England Under-21 keeper but he's a decent shot-stopper.

We've got a couple of youngsters in Jordan Mutch who is on loan and one of our own in striker Marvin Sordell who has scored 6 goals this season since breaking into the side and has some talent.

What do you make of the current Pompey side? Are there any players in there who worry you?

It looks like you are on the up aided by some pretty decent signings for this level in Kitson and Lawrence who have been successful with previous clubs

I know Utaka gets stick because he is one of the guys still earning a ridiculous wage but we have trouble with guys who have pace.

Like most in this league you probably just need a good run and luck to build confidence and of course the Fratton support will give a lift to the team.

Apart from QPR it's all pretty tight and I think Cotterill will want to prove himself again at a higher level having been dumped by
Sunderland and Burnley so will bring the motivation to push your side nearer the top if all goes well OFF the pitch (much like us!)

What sort of game are you expecting at
Fratton Park? Both sides have been amongst the goals so is this going to be a thriller?

Both sides are in form and scoring goals...0-0 then!?

I think it should be a decent game with teams wanting to attack and we do seem to be better when going ahead (apart from our last visit to Fratton!) which brings confidence rather than falling behind and having to chase a game.

We've got a decent following by our standards coming down (1,600) so hopefully we'll perform well and give you a decent match!

Predict the outcome of the game.

1-1 with Graham and Kitson the scorers.

I'd take a point again as we have 2 home games coming up but then I'd said then when we won 6-1 at Millwall and against
Norwich.

I'm pretty sure you won't be so generous in defence!

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