This was always going to be A Good Day. Irrespective of the result, a big cup tie away at a fine stadium against a Premiership club with a big travelling support guaranteed… and this allied with the assurance that this Watford side so very rarely lets you down when it comes to effort and application. All valid arguments in answering the “Why on earth do you do this?” question that many will have faced last week.
There have been a few more daydreams than usual this week. Since that magnificent victory over West Brom and that vital win at Coventry, it’s been easy to let the imagination wander a little. You can piece together a run of results to leave us in the playoff places, then toy with the possibilities from there onwards. You can plan a famous cup success at the Stadium of Light, then a kind draw in the quarter final…and then, well, who knows? And, implicitly, you can use all of the above to conjure up emotive, powerful images from yesteryear, both recent and beyond.