Watford promoted and Wigan staring at relegation on day of high drama


Watford promoted and Wigan staring at relegation on day of high drama

Watford have returned to the Premier League after an afternoon of drama that started with their 2-0 win at Brighton in the lunchtime game. Ten-man Middlesbrough were then defeated by a last-minute goal from Fulham’s Ross McCormack, who completed a hat-trick, in a 4-3 home win at Craven Cottage and Norwich City were held to a 1-1 draw at Rotherham by an 86th-minute goal. Three hours after Slavisa Jokanovic’s Watford had stretched their lead at the top of the Championship, the late setbacks for their two rivals secured promotion.

At the other end of the table Wigan face relegation after a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves. Two years ago, Watford’s midfielder Ben Watson scored the winner in Wigan’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester City. Watson, who signed from Wigan in January, said: “I am not being arrogant but we have the players to win big games. We have two strikers who have scored 20 goals and another, Matej Vydra, who has 15 and a huge amount of talent at the club.

“We will need more players in the Premier League, the manager knows that, but these things are out of the players’ hands. But it’s a huge honour to be back in the Premier League and our supporters deserve it.”

Watford were put on their way to victory with a first-half goal from their captain, Troy Deeney, who then set up the Czech international Vydra, who was on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season, for the second in stoppage-time.

Watford have had a turbulent season as the Serb Jokanovic is their fourth manager of the campaign.

Jokanovic, who has said that he does not know whether he will be at Watford next season, changed his 3-5-2 system to a 4-4-2 formation after half an hour to transform the game with the introduction of the Hungarian Daniel Tozser. “After we changed the system we had more control of the game,” Jokanovic said.

The former Chelsea player is a target for Sunderland but has recently refused to discuss a possible move or confirm whether he will stay at Vicarage Road, but the club will be anxious to avoid their fate in the Premier League last time around when they were relegated after only one season.

Wigan, meanwhile, could be relegated before they play again, two years after losing their Premier League status. Wigan’s demise will be confirmed if Rotherham avoid defeat by Reading on Tuesday. If Rotherham lose, Wigan must beat Brentford for any chance of survival next Saturday.

To add to their misery, Wigan’s James McLean was sent off for a second yellow card.

source: The Guardian