First Team 15/03/2019

Janmaat: “We Will Give Everything”

Daryl Janmaat is relishing the opportunity to play at Wembley, should the Hornets progress from their quarter-final against Crystal Palace this Saturday.

“It’s the first time I've got this far in the FA Cup and it’s a real opportunity to get to the semi-finals,” said the defender. “It’s a tough game, but everyone wants to get to Wembley and it’s a great opportunity. 

“We will give everything.”

First, though, the Golden Boys will have to brush aside a Palace side who are hurting from a double-defeat against Watford in the league.

“It’s going to be hard – Palace at home will be a battle because they’re a good team and Watford v Palace is always a close game – but we will have our chances and we have to try to take them,” said Janmaat.

“We played them twice this season and beat them twice, hopefully we beat them again and go to Wembley. Then we’ll see what happens next.”

That prospect of reaching Wembley – as the Hornets did under Quique Sánchez Flores in 2016 – is something that has created an extra buzz around the club since the draw was made.

“It’s always nice as players and also for the fans when there is the possibility of an exciting end to the season,” said the Dutchman. “Especially with the position we’re in at the moment – I think we can look forward to a nice last two or three months as we’re trying to achieve what we want to achieve. 

“It’s a really interesting time of the season and hopefully we can do something special. That’s our aim at the moment and we have to keep working hard for it until the last game of the season.”

Ladies 15/03/2019

Ladies: Oxford United Preview

By Chris Smith

It has been a frustrating time for Watford FC in March, although not due to results. Games scheduled for March 3, 10 and 14 have had to be postponed, either due to international call-ups or adverse weather.

The first of those was due to be at home to Oxford United Women. That was re-arranged for this Sunday, and it’s been a similar situation for both teams, with The U’s fixture in mid-week also postponed.

When the two sides finally take the field this weekend, it has the potential to be a cracker. Both teams are in a good run of form recently and previous games have been entertaining and close-fought encounters, with Watford narrowly winning the last two by a 2-1 margin.

Views from the Head Coach

It’ll have been three weeks since Watford’s victory away at Loughborough Foxes, with differing reasons preventing the Golden Girls from building on that since.

“We are very frustrated with recent postponements, but these are things we can’t control,” Armand Kavaja told watfordfc.com.

“We just have to use these opportunities to continue to work with the girls in training. In a way we are happy that we managed to get a training session in on Thursday before this game to prepare ourselves.

“The girls were very focused and understood how we’ll set up on Sunday. We’re very much looking forward to playing Oxford United this weekend.

“It’s always an interesting contest against Oxford, they are a good side who retain the ball well and are good going forward.

“The game will be determined on which team will be more organised and who takes their opportunities when they come.”

Sunday’s a big day, not only for the first team but also for Watford FC Ladies U23, who take on Stevenage Ladies in the Hertfordshire Women’s Challenge Cup final.

“Laura [Dyer – Head Coach] and Amy [Shepherd – Assistant Coach] have done a great job with the U23s,” explained Kavaja. “We have a good group of young players who have a lot of potential, they’ve shown that throughout the season either when they’ve trained or played with the first team.

“We wish them the best of luck on Sunday ahead of a tough game against Stevenage.”

The Visitors

Having previously played in what was then known as WSL 2 for five seasons, Oxford United began this campaign in the FA Women’s National League Southern Division.

They didn’t enjoy the greatest start, losing three of their first four in the league. Even in that spell they had scored in every game and over the next couple they turned on the style, defeating Gillingham 5-0 and Loughborough Foxes 4-2.

On October 2, they were defeated 2-1 for the third time. A loss to Coventry United following the previous defeats to Chichester, Watford and the 3-1 reverse to Milton Keynes Dons.

That defeat to Coventry over five months ago in the FA WNL was the last time they came out of a league game second-best.

They’ve taken 19 points from a possible 21 in the current spell and on occasions they’ve had to show their class to come out on top in tight games. The only time they’ve failed to take the three points was a 1-1 draw against Cardiff City. Three times they’ve won by a one goal margin, against Chichester, Plymouth and Gillingham.

That run of form sees them lie fifth in the table with a 9-1-4 record, although they do have games in hand on some of the teams around them.

Apart from the local County Cup, Oxford haven’t had the most joy in cup competitions this season, although they were handed some difficult draws.

There’s been late heart break. In the FA WNL Cup, they were knocked out by Crawley Wasps after extra-time, while they lost out to a last-minute winner against Blackburn Rovers in the SSE Women’s FA Cup.

Finally, Watford will know they’ll have to be at the top of their game defensively on Sunday. Probably the most notable statistic from the Yellows’ 2018/19 season is they’ve scored in all their 21 matches so far.

Last time out

Loughborough Foxes 1-2 Watford

Team: Baranowska, Hallsworth, Kettle, Edwards, Peck (Bell, 55), Scanlon (Carid, 55), Stojko-Down, O’Leary (Richards, 77), Kikomeko, Fatuga-Dada, Ward ©

Goals | Ward (57), Stojko-Down (84)

Oxford United 1-0 Gillingham

Team: Thomas, Haynes ©, Mobbs, Allen, Noble, Timms (Williams, 89), Fyfe (Hennessy, 90+5), Baker, Sims, Gane, Beaver (Lancaster, 82)

Goal | Fyfe (50)

Information

Watford FC Ladies v Oxford United Women

FA WNL

Sunday 17th March

3pm

Middlesex FA

Ruislip Road, Northolt, Middlesex, UB5 5FA

For SATNAV purposes please use UB5 6AU

£6 Adults, £1 Under-18s, 50% off for Watford FC ST Holders