Jokanovic remains level-headed

Date published: Saturday 25th April 2015 4:00

Jokanovic placed all the emphasis on “the final”, which is how he described Watford’s final Sky Bet Championship match at home to Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.

Results elsewhere in the division sent the Hornets up, after goals from captain Troy Deeney and substitute Matej Vydra at the Amex Stadium. It means that Watford will be crowned champions if they can secure a sixth successive victory in their final game.

Jokanovic added: “We have won the semi-final and now it’s on to the final, which we want to win next week.

“It’s not the time for celebration. I’m ready for everything, be that one or three games.”

Deeney now boasts 21 goals for the season and Vydra has 15, and Jokanovic admitted he was thankful when Watford’s second goal was scored late in stoppage time.

He added: “It was a relief and it was important. Brighton pressed at the start and the end of the game, so it was an important second goal.”

Jokanovic made an early tactical change when Ikechi Anya was withdrawn after 26 minutes in favour of Daniel Tozser and the head coach played down the significance, saying: “We’ve made switches like this before.

“After this change, we had more control. I decided to change our structure, not because there was something wrong.

“It was not a difficult decision because I am professional. It was not because he did something wrong, it was a tactical change.”

Watford missed out on promotion to the Premier League in 2012/13 after losing to Crystal Palace in the Championship play-off final, and Jokanovic stressed the importance of pushing to the final minute of the last game.

The Serbian said: “It’s very important for us to keep going for 46 games. I don’t have any plans for tonight and tomorrow. I will be preparing for the next game.”

Brighton boss Chris Hughton vowed to revive the Seagulls’ fortunes for next season after they signed off before their own fans with a fifth defeat in the last six games.

Hughton’s men have failed to win any of their last five home matches, not scoring in four, and the former Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich manager said: “It’s very, very frustrating.

“But it is my responsibility to change that and my responsibility to make sure we will be fighting in a different part of the table next season. To do that I will be bringing in personnel to change it.”

Brighton effectively clinched their Championship status for another season following Millwall’s 2-0 defeat at Blackburn in midweek.

Hughton is desperate to round off what has been a disappointing and challenging season with a similarly spirited performance at Middlesbrough next Saturday.

He added: “It certainly is a case of same again at Middlesbrough. I’ll be incredibly disappointed if we don’t get that level of performance. We also want to get the points ourselves and we are looking to win the game.”

Hughton felt it was to his players’ credit that Watford were forced to change their system with the early introduction of Tozser.

He said: “We matched their system and Watford changed their system due to our performance and that was testament to our lads.

“They are pushing for the two automatic promotion places and have outstanding qualities. They have two strikers who have scored 20 goals each and Vydra has now got 15. They can score and they are capable of winning their last game and going up.”

Related Articles