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Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Sunday, 4 May 2008 17:57 UK

Form irrelevant now - Boothroyd

Aidy Boothroyd
Boothroyd's Watford have won one in their last 14 games

Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd insists his team have as good a chance as any other to reach the Premier League via the play-offs despite their poor form.

The Hornets, who led the Championship earlier in the season, secured a play-off place on goal difference after a 1-1 draw at Blackpool on Sunday.

"Form goes out of the window in the play-offs," said Boothroyd.

"It's about big-game players and being big, strong, organised and keeping our nerve. That's what we've got to do."

Watford now face a two-legged play-off semi-final against Hull after Tommy Smith hit a spectacular late equaliser at Bloomfield Road to ensure a sixth-place finish by the narrowest of margins - superior goal difference on Wolves of just one goal.

But, despite a run of just one win in 14 games, Boothroyd is confident Watford have the capabilities to overcome the challenges ahead and return to the Premier League having been relegated last season.

"It's a huge relief because you look at a lot of relegated clubs who came down in the last three or four years," he said.

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"Birmingham and Sunderland bounced straight back - and that's an amazing credit to them - but there are a lot of bigger clubs than us who have come down, lost their momentum and ended up going down even further.

"We've got in by one goal and given ourselves a chance of reaching the goal we set out at the start of the season.

"We've got to enjoy tonight and then focus on our next game."

Blackpool boss Simon Grayson was also left celebrating after his side secured the Championship status, having been promoted from League One 12 months ago.

"It's a magnificent achievement by this football club to stay in the division," he said.

"It would have been nice to have been able to do it a few weeks ago, when we got to a certain point in the season with a certain number of points.

"But that wasn't to be the case, so there was obviously quite a lot of pressure on the players and the staff going into this game.

"We'd worked so hard for 45 games that we didn't want it to disappear in one game today.

"Eventually we got our just rewards as we've stayed in the division and I think we deserve to."


see also
Blackpool 1-1 Watford
04 May 08 |  Championship
Boothroyd will know other scores
02 May 08 |  Watford
Championship's day of destiny
02 May 08 |  Championship


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