Date:Friday May 5 2006
Watford supremo Aidy Boothroyd believes big-spending Crystal Palace start as favourites to beat Watford in the play-off semi final.
The Golden Boys finished six points clear of Iain Dowie’s outfit but were beat – though some would say unjustly – twice by the Eagles this season.
“We are the underdogs because Crystal Palace have spent far more money than us and they are expected to go up because they've got far more experienced players than us,” the gaffer told the official site. “We've got it all to do but we know that and we're not going there to make up the numbers, we're going to try to win.”
The gaffer- a meticulous planner – explained that he is pleased with Watford’s play-off preparations. “Since we knew we were going to be in the play-offs, we've managed to practice a lot of stuff, a lot of different situations and 'what if' scenarios,” explained Boothroyd.
“Luckily we've had the opportunity to face lots of different things in the last few games - we've had a man sent off, we've had a man sent off against us, we've gone a goal up, a goal down and had to respond to it all. We are as prepared as we can be.”
Having met each other in the league just over a month ago, there may be no element of surprise of how each team play, but Boothroyd believes that it will be a question of performing when the pressure is on. “The two teams know each other inside out so now it's a question of who will perform better when the pressure's on,” said Boothroyd.
“Of course, they have been there and done it before so the onus is no them. We were told we're going to be relegated at the beginning of this season so I hope to hear the same next season, but in a different league!,” enthused the gaffer.
Speaking of Saturday’s game from a personal point of view Boothroysd said: “I can't wait, I'm thriving on this. I love the big games because I want to test myself against the best and Palace are one of the best in this league because they've been there and done it before.”
“They've spent money so there's an expectation on them from their chairman all the way down to their fans. We know we'll have to be at our very, very best to do anything against them but we intend to do exactly that,” the gaffer concluded.
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