Boothroyd to take transfer 'calculated risks'

December 31, 2006

Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd today admitted the club would need to take 'calculated risks' to avoid relegation.

After Saturday's abandoned match against Wigan, the Hornets are 10 points adrift of safety in the Barclays Premiership and must invest wisely during the January transfer window if they are to have any chance of staying up.

They have been linked with a loan move for Manchester United forward Alan Smith, bids for Leeds striker David Healy, West Ham's Carlton Cole and Luton winger Carlos Edwards, and Boothroyd knows his board must take chances in the transfer market.

'We know we have to invest,' Boothroyd said. 'Sometimes that takes risks - calculated risks - and that is what we need to do.

'We have to do whatever it takes. I have already been busy, preparing for January.

'I have been on the phone, making contact with a few managers, and now is the time to start putting in bids.

'I want to bring in players as quickly as possible.

'Depth is key in the Premiership. In the Championship, if you lose a star player, the player coming in can give his effort and do all he can.

'He might not have the edge the star player has, but you can get by.

'In the Premiership, if you lose a key player, it is vital, as the absence of John Terry at Chelsea has shown.'

While adding to his squad is important, perhaps Boothroyd's most important task is to hang onto his star forward Ashley Young.

The 21-year-old, an England Under-21 international, has been, along with goalkeeper Ben Foster and midfielder Gavin Mahon, Watford's best player this term.

Boothroyd denied Tottenham had made a bid for Young, but revealed he had turned down other offers for the skilful youngster.

The 35-year-old boss added: 'Spurs have not made any bids. I have had bids from other clubs and I have rejected them.

'Ashley is a key part of what we want to do here.'

Watford's match at Fulham on Monday will bring back uncomfortable memories for Boothroyd of the first meeting between the teams, at Vicarage Road on October 2.

The Hornets were 2-0 ahead with 19 minutes remaining and appeared to be cruising towards their first Premiership win of the campaign.

But Fulham scored three times in 16 minutes to turn the match upside down, and Watford rescued a point thanks only to Young's volley in the 89th minute.

Boothroyd admitted: 'It gave us an emotional kick up the backside.

'We had proved we could do well against teams like Fulham, but we got only one point because we were naive.

'We were 2-0 up after 46 minutes and it should have been game over. We never learned the lesson. But we have very young players learning quickly.

'You have to learn fast, and we need to improve faster and bring players in.

'That is the recipe for Premiership survival.'

Boothroyd has no new injury worries for the match at Fulham and is likely to stick with the same XI which started the game against Wigan.

The score was 1-1 when referee Steve Tanner called a halt to proceedings, with Tamas Priskin having equalised for Watford with his first league goal for the club.