Chris Wilder not giving up hope of Watford finishing in Championship's top two above old clubs Sheffield United and Middlesbrough FC

NEW WATFORD manager Chris Wilder insists that he is not giving up hope of reeling in former clubs Sheffield United and Middlesbrough - and gatecrashing the promotion party by finishing in the top two of the Championship.

The Hertfordshire club appointed the 55-year-old on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after sacking Slaven Bilic, who was shown the door after just six months in charge of the Hornets.

Watford, who have won just three matches since Christmas, are four points from the playoff places with 11 games to go in the club's season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As it stands, they are nine points adrift of third-placed and 16 points behind United, who occupying the second promotion spot.

Chris Wilder, pictured during his time at Middlesbrough. Picture: GettyChris Wilder, pictured during his time at Middlesbrough. Picture: Getty
Chris Wilder, pictured during his time at Middlesbrough. Picture: Getty

But despite the Hornets’ position, Wilder - promoted with the Blades in 2018-19 - is not giving up on automatic promotion, let alone participating in the end-of-season lottery.

Watford's run-in looks favourable on paper and the only sides in the play-off picture who they have to still face are arch-rivals Luton Town, Coventry City and Sunderland, with Wilder's side facing a host of sides in the bottom half of the division.

Wilder said: "I’ve signed to the end of the season, and I’d like our season to be ending by me walking up the steps at Wembley to get a trophy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I’ve got to isolate what I can affect and have an influence over in this 11-game period. I have to control the controllables.

“One thing to remember is that 11 games is very nearly a quarter of a season. People will look at the top two and think it’s done and dusted. I think top spot is, but not second place.

“This is a great opportunity for me. I’m not naïve, I’m a bright guy and I know the history of the football club. Every club has its own model, and I know the model at Watford.

“When this chance came up I made the choice to come in for the final 11 games and hopefully galvanise a group of players who – putting our cards on the table – have under-performed.

"Watford should not be sat 10th in this division, but we have an opportunity for all of us – supporters, players, staff, stakeholders and me – to kick-start things."