Simon previews Saturday’s away trip
A decision as to Saturday’s game at Watford taking place or not will be made at 9am on match day morning.
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Simon Grayson is confident that his players can upset the odds on Saturday when they take on the league’s “surprise package” Watford.
Gianfranco Zola’s men currently sit sixth in the npower Championship and have the chance to do the double over the Terriers following their 3-2 victory in Huddersfield earlier in the season.
“They have been the surprise package so far this season,” Simon told htafc.com. “They have had an influx of foreign players who have helped them achieve some very good victories. They are a dynamic team who have excellent movement; it is going to be a tough game. Watford have been very good away from home, but not as good at home. If we can replicate some of our away performances from this season then I believe we have a very good chance.
“Gianfranco has done a fantastic job since last summer and his team has the ability to get a result when they need one to stay in the top six. To get a win at Middlesbrough last week was a great result for them and they have got players who are very comfortable on the ball.”
Simon continued: “We will try and win the game by playing through and from the shape of our team. We will have to work very hard to stop them playing and when we have the ball we will have to be effective. We have got players in our squad who are capable of hurting the opposition. The likes of Beckford, Vaughan and Scannell, who looks like he is back to best with his recent performances, have the ability to cause teams problems.”
Town’s winless streak continued against Birmingham with the 1-1 draw, but Simon is confident that his players are heading in the right direction.
“To get an equaliser so late on gave everyone a lift and I felt that we deserved the goal. Jack Butland was the busiest ‘keeper in the game and we stuck at our task; any point gained in the npower Championship is a valuable one.
“You can’t repair confidence overnight, it is a gradual process. We are progressing in the right manner, but we want to win a game to give everyone a massive boost. We will go to Watford on the weekend in a good frame of mind looking to cause an upset.”
Neil Danns made a good impression on debut against the Blues and illustrated his ability to play from both the right wing and central midfield positions.
“When I signed Neil I said that he was a versatile player and he proved that against Birmingham by starting on the right and then moving in to the middle. He had only been at the football club a couple of days and I am confident that there is plenty more to come from him.”
Simon is also confident that Dann’s midfield partner Oliver Norwood is showing signs of returning back to his early season form.
“Oliver was flying when the team were playing well at the start of the season; he was the one making us tick. At this moment in time his confidence has dwindle – like one or two of the players – but I thought at Charlton and against Birmingham he showed glimpses of what he is capable of doing. All the players need to work hard to reach the levels that they were achieving at the start of the season.”
With 13 days remaining of the transfer window Simon said the situation with Adam Hammill wasn’t fully closed.
“I have spoken with Dean Saunders and he is currently taking stock of the situation,” he told htafc.com. “We will speak again after the weekend and see what he wants to do, that isn’t to say that we have made a decision yet. We need to take stock of our own situation and work out where we need to strengthen.”
Jack Hunt has been the subject of media speculation linking him with a move away from Town, but Simon said that it was simply paper talk.
“The transfer window brings about speculation left, right and centre for good players. We aren’t a selling football club and we don’t encourage bids from other clubs. Regarding Jack Hunt it is all speculation just like it could be with any player. We will get on with our business and comment on transfers in private.”
To finish, Simon provided good news on the injury front.
“Danny (Ward) has trained this week so we will see where he is; Joel Lynch is still unavailable though. Apart from those two everybody else is fit and available for selection, which is good. Oscar Gobern is making good progress and it is good that we are getting players back to full fitness.”
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