Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boothroyd: Survival Fight Will Be Won in Our Heads

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boothroyd: Survival Fight Will Be Won in Our Heads

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMITH

Wycombe 2 Watford 3

WATFORD must hold tight for a roller coaster ride on the club's return to the Premier League.

That was the frank assessment offered today by manager Aidy Boothroyd.

Yet after watching his side recover from the embarrassment of conceding a first minute goal to win 3-2 at Wycombe Wanderers Boothroyd insisted he was up for the challenge that lies ahead, to the extent of confounding those who believe the paupers of the top flight will be unable to buy themselves survival.

He said: "I believe the old romance of football came out in what we did last year. We had the fifth lowest budget in the Championship yet we finished third in the table and we got through the promotion playoffs.

"This season we'll have the lowest budget in the League, never mind the fifth lowest, and we' ll be favourites for relegation.

"We've got to push ourselves, and stretch our comfort zones, and be better in other areas - maybe in our preparation or the way we play or be more intelligent than other teams.

We've got to find a way that gets us points on the board and not just survive but go beyond that and establish ourselves."

In just 18 months at Vicarage Road, Boothroyd has earned a reputation for being an innovative thinker and a good man-manager who recognises potential in players that others miss.

Marlon King, who endured such a difficult time at Nottingham Forest before netting 22 goals in 44 appearances for Watford last season, was on the scoresheet against last night.

And his second-half winner - the product of deft footwork just inside League Two Wycombe's penalty area - came courtesy of a threaded pass from Anthony McNamee, who has grown wings down the left side after Boothroyd last year showed faith in the pacy little flyweight.

Boothroyd's spending over the summer amounts to [pounds sterling]1.5 million for Damien Francis, who brings with him experience with Wigan of what it takes for a promoted club to stay up and prosper. …

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