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By Mike Scofield
Had a chat with a radio station today.

Reminded them that Watford are very close to a play-off place and that they should not ignore us, when discussing probable outcomes. The hosts both accepted that we had quite a good chance of going up, but jointly expressed the view that we are the weakest of the likely lads and that immediate relegation was a certainty. I told them that the difference between us and the others is not the players, or money, but Graham Taylor. We've got him, the others have not.

Maybe now is a good time to consider whether the prevailing view is based merely around what has been seen before (Palace, Charlton, Bolton, Swindon) or whether it is based upon some kind of solid evidence of frailty at Vicarage Road.

The lessons of time are worth learning, indeed it is one of my prime philosophies. After all, if Hitler had remembered Napoleon's failure on the Russian front, we might be considering promotion to the Bundeslegia. However, death is not necessarily the inevitable consequence of following a usually dangerous path. Especially if you have made preparations in advance of the journey. Consider what GT has put in place so far.

A Philosophy and Discipline that ensures no-one can ever again take the view... "I'm too good for this place". One tried it and has paid quite a price for it (guess who ?).

Two promotions in two years (maybe), without spending more than 200k on any player.

A Youth Academy that has, in its first season, shown most of the 'big' clubs how to do it right, by pulling off some very surprising results in Academy league matches.

Complete belief in GT's managerial ability from the players. How many Watford players want to leave this club, after the way things have gone in the last two years?

In Smith, Easton, Robinson, Noel-Williams, Ward, Pluck, Perpetuini, a home-grown squad of U21 players that are going to be the foundation of a future Premiership squad, and who would comfortably make it into any First Division squad right now.

A playing strategy that is understood by everyone. Not surprisingly, it is simple to play and it causes real problems for the opposition. No, not "long ball", but win the ball, get it wide, run at defenders, cross the ball. If so-called "star-players" don't want to play that way, then we don't need them.

The ability to turn poor attitude, into a realisation that the team is everything. Witness Jason Lee's change of attitude last year and this season Michel Ngonge's miraculous change from can't-be-bothered to run-til-you-drop.

These are just some of the reasons why I don't believe that promotion would mean certain relegation.

GT will, in my view, do the same things that we have seen Jim Smith and Martin O'Neill do, on a not very big budget. Bosman frees, has-beens given a new lease of life, young guys well coached and bargain Euro buys from the less fashionable countries.

Of course one thing is certain. The Press will return to their old stories about 'long-ball Watford', but when faced with GT himself will say "of course, I have always admired you". I for one (to paraphrase someone else) would love it, just love it, to be able to see GT stuff Jeff Powell's tired old clichés right back whence they came.