So, much as I enjoyed watching our highly impressive, rousing start to the campaign, this, for me, is Adrian Boothroyd’s first landmark of genuine note. The nature of the man, it appears, is such that he wouldn’t greet it with more than a passing shrug and a sharp quip, but it is an achievement nevertheless. Because the consolidation is much more significant than the initial conquest: we might very easily have slipped back into mid-table by now, looking back upon those late summer days as a glorious, short-lived memory. Instead, we’re still here, claiming the right to consider ourselves contenders. That’s a bloody triumph, to my mind.
“If anyone underestimated us at the start of the season they won’t be doing it now because we’re third,” said their manager Adrian Boothroyd. “And if they do so, they do it at their peril.” Where Boothroyd’s challenge at the start of the campaign was to raise his squad’s spirits, now he must prevent them from soaring out of sight.
BSAD report: For the game itself, both sides had one change to their starting line ups from Saturday’s wins. Watford replaced Darius Henderson, who was on the bench (meaning “bunch of red seats in front of the shack”), with Anthony McNamee. McNamee had substituted Henderson against Wolves. Rangers included former Villa striker Stefan Moore in place of Paul Furlong who was dismissed at Derby on Saturday for kicking Derby’s Wigan loanee Emerson Thome where it hurts most.