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Promotion, or the carriage clock goes back - Interview
Wednesday, 18th Nov 2020 13:31 by Clive Whittingham

It's been a while since QPR and Watford faced off, bar the occasional cup final, so we bid a warm welcome back to Richard 'Tricky' Segal for his assessment of how the Hornets are doing in their attempt to get back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Why did it go wrong for Watford last year?

Where to start. The easy answer is obviously three managers in the year. The huge mistake was the reappointment of Sanchez Flores, the four points from ten games was a total that unfortunately we never recovered from. There were a lot of stories doing the rounds about the dressing room, especially after the West Ham match near the end of the season. I think certain people on the board and players seemed to have too much say in team matters.

How have Watford started the season?

Well in terms of results I would say good and in terms of performances I would say average, I believe much better performances will be coming up now that the gaffer has apart from one player a fully fit squad to be calling on.

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

Opinion of the new manager so far? Stay much longer he gets a carriage clock right?

The manager has been good so far, ideally he would like to playing 4-3-3 but as we only have one left back at the club that he wants to play there (Adam Masina) we are playing 3-5-2 and will be into the new year.

Results first, style of play second? Or am I being unfair?

I am still trying to work out the style he is looking to implement, you look at our first five games and we kept four clean sheets, but then we only scored two goals. Take the next six games and no clean sheets but 11 goals scored, if we go back to being solid at the back we will be very hard to beat as no one in this league has the attacking options we have.

Assessment of your transfer window activity? More about who stayed than who arrived I guess…

Happy with the transfer activity, as I mentioned on the season preview there was no way Doucoure, Deulofeu and Pereyra would be plying their trade in the Championship. The club had to make a guess on the situation in regards to Gray and Deeney leaving and that is why Glenn Murray and a couple of other strikers were brought in, with the Brummie duo both back fit I don’t see those others playing much football.

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

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 >>> Daryl Janmaat 31, RB, Released

Where is the team strong and where is it weak?

It looks like we a bit vulnerable at the back, goals conceded against Stoke and Coventry from a hoof up from the back and us not being able to deal with the second ball. But as mentioned if we can get the defence tight again (a trait that Ivic's previous teams were known for) then I expect lots of wins to follow.

If I can also mention and give special praise to Ken Sema who has been our best player this season, a player who when we last played 19 months ago was very much on the periphery of the team, now one of the first names on the team sheet.

With the talent in the squad presumably the expectation is promotion straight back?

Totally, no promotion would mean him losing his job and the carriage clock going back, I dont think he would have any issue with that as if you compare this squad to the one that get promoted 5 years ago it is far far stronger, Chalobah, Cleverley, Hughes, Capoue, Garner, Quina, Sema, Deeney, Gray, Pedro and Sarr is an abundance of quality which will all be required in this schedule of 9 games in 27 days and everything that will follow during the winter. Lets hope by warmer times that they and the manager have fulfilled that promise

Links >>> Watford Official Website >>> WFC Forums – Message Board >>> Watford Observer – Local Press

The Twitter/Instagram @loftforwords

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E15Hoop added 15:47 - Nov 18
Clive: I suspect you meant to say cup "tie" rather than "final" in your intro. If it was "final" it would be VERY occasional indeed, although, with our track record, I can see how you could get easily confused between a fifth round tie and a final 😂
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Patrick added 16:58 - Nov 18
Well it was a cup final according to one of Watford's more noisy players. The real one didn't go too well for them however 😉
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Northernr added 17:26 - Nov 18
E15 - cheap gag based on Deeney's interview after that match.
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extratimeR added 17:50 - Nov 18
Must admit very impressive squad, and on paper should be able to navigate Championship when everyone fit.
Admittedly have only watched them once for 90 mins, ( against Bournemouth at Watford), and had real problem with being distracted by nearby drying paint, and cat going into coma.

If you can't afford hypnotist, just watch Watford at home, ( with 11 behind the ball for duration of game).
No wonder ground was empty.
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E15Hoop added 15:27 - Nov 19
Wow, Clive, I never realised that Deeney had been that patronising! I thought that kind of disrespect was reserved for the Chelscum website!
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TacticalR added 14:33 - Nov 20
Thanks to Richard.

Always interesting to see how relegated teams negotiate the Championship. A lot of teams have found it a lot more difficult than expected. Having said that, at the time of writing 3 of the top 4 in the Championship are relegated teams (Watford, Bournemouth, Norwich).

I see Ivić recently had a couple of title wins in Israel (even if Maccabi Tel Aviv almost always win - Paulo Sousa also won the title there).
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