Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Henderson Won't Let Cup Be a Distraction

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Henderson Won't Let Cup Be a Distraction

Article excerpt


Watford 1 (Henderson 24) Wigan 1 (Folan 40)

DARIUS HENDERSON today dismissed the notion that he and his Watford team-mates are being distracted from their Premiership relegation struggle by dreaming of an FA Cup Final appearance.

If Watford beat quarterfinal rivals Plymouth Argyle on 11 March they will be just one game away from a final at Wembley - or Cardiff.

But Henderson, who scored in a 1-1 draw against Wigan at Vicarage Road that leaves his side rooted to the foot of the table, is not focusing on Cup glory.

"Agreed, playing in a Cup Final doesn't come around very often," he said.

"But then the chance of playing in the Premiership doesn't come around for everyone.

"We've hardly thought about the Cup. We know we're in a relegation dogfight and we know we've got to win every league game now because, if we don't, we won't find ourselves playing in the Premiership next season."

Victory over Wigan would have lifted Watford above Charlton and West Ham to within four points of the safety zone. But even playing against 10 men for 70 minutes, following referee Rob Styles's controversial dismissal of Fitz Hall for a tackle on Johan Cavalli that was rough rather than reckless, Aidy Boothroyd's team failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage or their chances.

Boothroyd said: "If you had told me before the game that we would be 1-0 up after 24 minutes and that they would have been down to 10 men, I would have been doing cartwheels.

"But you have to make your possession count. We did not do that, so we have one point instead of three.

"We have only ourselves to blame.

The 10 men found that extra bit of energy, whereas the 11 men waited for someone else to make things happen.

"I wanted seven points from the three games with West Ham [which Watford won 1-0 a fortnight ago], Wigan and Everton. So this means we have to beat Everton on Saturday. That's a big game at home for us and we have to make sure we're up for it."

He could start by reminding his players that one of the principle objects of the game is to pass the ball to someone wearing the same colour shirt. …

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