William Troost-Ekong eyes fifth Watford win on the bounce against Bournemouth
Watford defender William Troost-Ekong will be hoping to tick off another win en route to promotion from the Sky Bet Championship but admits Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth is a tough prospect.
The two relegated clubs meet at the Vitality Stadium in the day’s early kick-off, with the visitors aiming to take advantage of playing before their nearest rivals by winning a fifth game in a row.
Leaders Norwich face Wycombe on Sunday and victory for the Hornets would move them four points behind Daniel Farke’s men.
Troost-Ekong insists no-one at Watford is doing the maths at this stage of the campaign as the Hornets prepare for a difficult game on the south coast.
“We’ve got a board up and just crossing off the wins we think we need,” he told the club’s official website.
“I know it’s a cliche, but we are taking each game as it comes and the coach is hammering that into us. We aren’t looking at any calculations.
“It’s a massive game. Everyone probably highlighted this game at the start of the season and it still feels the same.
“Bournemouth are going through a rocky spell and they’ve had a change of manager, but we can’t think like that as that’s when banana skins come out.”
Bournemouth, under Jonathan Woodgate, sit seventh heading into the weekend and will be keen to get their own promotion push back under way.
Later in the day, Brentford also have the opportunity to close within four points of Norwich when they host Stoke.
Thomas Frank’s side lost three in a row before beating Barnsley and Stoke boss Michael O’Neill knows his side will have to play well to get a result in west London.
“We have to go there and believe we can win,” he told stokecityfc.com.
“It will be a different style of play to Wednesday, they are a footballing team who get the ball down and move it around so we will have to be able to deal with that.
“We will have to be able to cover the pitch because we will be stretched, there’s no doubt about that. We will have defend well, but equally, when we are on the ball we have to show more of ourselves.”
If wither Brentford or Watford slip up, Swansea could move back into the top two with victory over Bristol City.
Ben Cabango scored the only goal of the game as the Swans beat Coventry in midweek – their fifth 1-0 win of the campaign and a result which the Wales international believes shows the grit among the squad.
“These 1-0 wins show the desire we have as a team,” he said.
“I think they are one of the most important victories you can get – knowing we can keep clean sheets and how to manage the game as well.
Cardiff are the division’s in-form side following the appointment of Mick McCarthy and they will be trying to keep their spot in the play-off places with a win at Middlesbrough.
At the other end of the table, Sheffield Wednesday could move out of the relegation zone if they can pick up three points away to Luton, while fellow strugglers Rotherham host Reading
Wins for both could plummet Birmingham into the drop zone if the Blues lose at home to QPR, who have enjoyed a recent revival of their own.
Elsewhere, Blackburn host Coventry, Millwall travel to Barnsley and Preston are at home to Huddersfield.