Opposition View: ORH speaks to Justin Beattie ahead of Watford vs Luton Town
Luton Town will be striving to extend their unbeaten run to eight when the M1 derby returns on Sunday afternoon.
Tell us a little bit about your Watford supporting background!
I’ve been going to Vicarage Road since 1985 during the final couple of seasons of Graham Taylor’s first stint as manager. In the early 90s work commitments meant I couldn’t go as often as I would like but since the mid 90s I have been attending matches regularly again
What have you made of the season so far?
The season so far has been thoroughly inconsistent. We can’t put back to back wins together and the squad seem disinterested in their commitment to the cause. We were hoping to remodel our culture of the manager merry-go-round with the appointment of Rob Edwards and the fans bought into it wholesale. His sacking bewildered us and the results since under Bilic have been either heavy wins or heavy defeats.
What are your general thoughts on Slaven Bilic? Will he be under pressure if Watford fail to win this weekend?
Slav is speaking truthfully in his interviews about the injury crisis he has inherited as well as questioning the mentality of some of the squad. Under any other circumstances we would be relishing having him as head coach but with the fragility of the relationship between owners and managers it’s almost as if we don’t want to get too attached as he could be gone any moment.
I think a loss on Sunday will actually put more heat on the owners from the fans rather than Bilic.
Joao Pedro and Ismaila Sarr have caused all sorts of havoc - How important are they for Watford this season?
Sarr and Predro are understandably the headline players at Watford. Pedro is an exceptional young talent that runs for fun and assists as well as scores goals. Whether he will be fully fit to start on Sunday remains to be seen. Sarr is a player of moments. Those moments can be absolutely devastating for the opposition. The trouble is they appear fleetingly and inconsistently. He also seems to be very injury prone (best described by someone else as ‘he’s made out of biscuits’) and spends a lot of time on the physio table. That is until he gets a call up from his national team where suddenly he’s fixed by ‘Senegal Superglue’ and he puts in a shift before returning injured. It’s all very frustrating.
What are your thoughts of Watford as a defensive unit amidst several injuries to key personnel?
I think it would be nice if we had a defensive unit rather than some kind of make do and mend affair that we see week in week out. Our defence has been neglected for several seasons now. No proper investment seems to be spent at the back and we are reaping what we sow. The fact that Dan Gosling who we purchased as a midfielder is shining as our best right back currently speaks volumes.
What do you make of Luton's start to the campaign?
I think Luton are showing the right attitude towards this league and their hard work is paying off. Obviously as a Watford fan I would prefer to be higher than Luton come the end of the season but the way things are going currently that’s unlikely.
We are in a win/lose pattern at the moment and when we play you on Sunday we’ll be in the ‘win’ part of the cycle. I’m not sure I’m going to stick my neck out and say that’s likely so I’ll sit in the fence and say it will be a 1-1 draw, which let me tell you, most Watford fans would be happy with right now!