Aidy Boothroyd was a surprise choice for Watford manager, replacing the popular Ray Lewington in 2005. He then guided the Hornets to promotion the following season and remained in charge until his departure in late 2008. 

Most recently England u21 Manager, Aidy spoke to Watford Legends in 2009, shortly before taking over at Colchester United.

Hi Aidy. How did you come to be the Watford manager?

I was at Leeds as first team coach and I was looking to get out of Leeds, I was a frustrated manager even then. I never actually wanted to be a manager as such but my personality forced me towards it. I went for a few jobs. I had an interview at Wycombe, I applied for a job at Oxford and I applied for a job at Kidderminster but they wouldn’t even interview me. When the Watford job came up I heard they were looking for a young, progressive manager so I decided to stick my C.V. in. I had already worked with Mark Ashton at West Brom so I gave him a call and asked if it was really worth me sending my C.V. in, he told me ‘yes’ so I did it. He told me he couldn’t make any promises but he did tell me exactly what they were looking for and promised to give the board a good recommendation.

He did that and I got an interview which lasted for two or three hours. I then got a second interview which was in front of the entire board and then after that they offered me the job.

How confident were you of getting the job after the knock backs at Wycombe, Oxford and Kidderminster?

You’ve got to keep going when you get knock backs. You get knock backs for a reason and it means you have to keep persisting with it. History is littered with people that have been successful having had a few knock backs along the way and that is part of life. It was never a worry, you can’t get down about these things – you just have to keep going.

Whilst you were going through the process of getting the Watford job was there the time or opportunity to come to a game and watch the team in action?

I came to watch the game against Forest at the Vic just before Ray left. Leeds used to do a lot of scouting and it tended to be me that did it. I think it finished 2-0 and Kris Commons scored both. After that game I only saw games when I was in charge. We were away at Burnley for my first game, and then my first home game was Leeds at home when we lost and Clarke Carlisle scored. So the only game I saw beforehand was that Forest game, but I had seen bits and pieces before that, mainly because of the fantastic job Ray had done and that included the cup runs so I had seen a bit of Watford that season anyway.

When you came in the first objective was to keep us up, how did you find the club to be when you arrived? After getting out on the training ground with the players were you confident you could keep us up?

Yes I was because that’s my nature. You know me well enough by now to know that I am an optimist by nature, and I knew we had enough there to be ok. Heidar was playing very well, and more importantly the lads took to me very quickly despite having no experience. I was with the first team at Leeds so a few of the players had asked what I was like, and the general reports were that I was a decent guy so the players gave me the opportunity. It also gave me the chance to have a look at the players and see who was going to be with me and who wasn’t. I made the decision quite quickly as to who I was going to keep and who I needed to move on. The timing of me coming in couldn’t have been any better for me really.

I remember clearly a game at Stoke that we won 1-0 in that relegation battle, and already there seemed to be a bit more of a unity with players, fans and you as the new manager.

Yeah I remember that game, that was when Al Bangura made his debut and he did ever so well. He was flying then. After that game we never looked back really. As a management team we knew that the team needed to be refreshed and have some new faces in it, with more of a balance between youth and experience.

Some players also need to be given the opportunity to push on, and that’s where we were at with players such as Lloyd Doyley who had lost his way a bit, it was Ashley Young’s time that he needed to do it, and obviously because of what the budget was it was players like those that needed to be developed and pushed. After selling H as well that gave me the opportunity to bring a couple of players in and begin to galvanise a squad that eventually went and got promotion.

We have spoken to a few players from the promotion season including Gavin Mahon, and they tell us that the basic message at the start of the season was ‘why not get promoted?’ was that something that you said to try and push the players or did you honestly believe that the squad had enough to get promotion to the Premiership?

I felt that the division then, as it is now, is full of good names but not necessarily good teams.
Sometimes its easy to forget that what you’re playing is maybe not as good as what their name is, for example Norwich had lost their way a bit. They have a great name, nice big stadium but maybe were not the team that they should have been. I felt that the Championship was a bit stale and needed something a bit new, a team that was a bit different and could build some momentum and have some good work ethic and organisation, and then that team might be able to go and surprise a few people. That’s what we did.

I said to the players on the first day that I was there to build a career and get promotion, and that I expected automatic promotion and would at the very least accept a top six finish. Looking back at the games that we lost we probably should have got 2nd place and pipped Sheffield United but we had a bad run at the end that meant we finished third and had to settle for the play offs. Finishing 3rd with 81 points wasn’t good enough and I was disappointed with that, but again I knew going into the play offs with the right mindset and work ethic we would do it, and we did.

You are well renowned for your optimism and have stated you believed from the word go we would get promoted, but is there one game that stands out for you where you finally felt that your belief was being shared by the players and also the fans?

I would probably say the Plymouth game, where we were 3-1 down at half time and came back to draw 3-3, and a few days after that game we were away at Cardiff. We stayed down in the area for those games. After the Plymouth game I had a heart to heart with the players in the hotel and we went on to win at Cardiff. I told the players after that game that if they needed the evidence then to watch the games again. HomePark was and still is a tough place to go. They score a lot of goals down there specifically early on when teams take too long to adjust and that is what we did. But we rescued something there and then the Cardiff game was a massive, massive result for us and we kicked on from there.

We lost a few along the way but that game was what signaled the start. After that I remember going to Derby and winning 2-1, Clarke got a late winner and the players headed over to me to celebrate, that was a big thing for me. We beat Southampton away, we beat Norwich home and away, we got battered up at Stoke and came away with a 3-0 win. We could go and get those results because of the mentality we had and when I saw the players doing it I knew we had a big chance of finishing the job. With anything you do in life, if you believe you can do it then you give yourself a chance of doing it.

During that promotion season you seemed to click well with the fans, how would you say your relationship was with the fans?

I think it was great. They saw me as being something a bit different. When I done a radio interview at the start of the season and said promotion was the aim I think a few may have thought that I was a bit weird, a bit off the wall maybe. But I was new, I was fresh and we started to get results. I think football fans by their very nature are tribal. A football club is almost like a church for fans. They have their own allegiances and there was this young bloke coming in and telling them that we were going to get promoted and then we, and I mean everybody involved, delivered on that promise. It galvanised us all together.

I had a great relationship from day one and the fans seemed prepared to give me a chance. I got a good ovation at Burnley when I first turned up; they supported me from the very start. I don’t think we have ever been as close as when we beat Leeds at Cardiff.

Talking of Cardiff, a lot of fans have said that had they been watching the game on the television rather than at the game then they knew we would have won before the game, as when people got home a saw the scenes in the tunnel it was quite clear we had beaten them there and then. The Watford players were bawling and looked ready where as the Leeds players saw that and looked like they didn’t really fancy it. Being in the tunnel before the game, did you feel like we had won it there also?

We had a game plan, but we also felt it was our destiny. We believed it was our time. We were there to finish the job we had set out to do all along. We were prepared for it. We had beaten Crystal Palace who were overwhelming favourites in the Semi. We then went down to Cardiff in the week and looked at the pitch and stayed over, so we really were ready.

I knew Leeds inside out as well. I knew what the players were like and I knew what the manager was like. I also knew our players were more unified than them and we were stronger than them. They may have had a bigger budget and maybe even better players but as one, we were the stronger team. In the tunnel it was left to them. They took control, they were empowered and from the very first minute of that game, we knew we were going to win. I think we are still the only team to win the play offs having scored six and conceded none.

People talk about big game players and players that can rise to the occasion but my lot from 1-16 and the staff were just absolutely superb. I may have looked cool and calm up until the penalty went in but that’s only because as a manager you have to be ready for what is round the corner but deep down I just knew it was our day, I knew we were going to win. We had earned it though. That win was as a result of intense preparation over nine or ten months or for that final moment.

The tactic that we saw on the telly of the players going mental in the tunnel before the games against Leeds and also Palace at home, was that something you instigated or was that down to the players?

I instigated it, but obviously the players had to carry it out. I asked them if they were comfortable with it and they were. I think 75% of communication is non verbal. You can look somebody in the eye and you can tell when somebody is up for it and also when somebody is not. I just felt that Leeds and Palace were not as ready as we were, and we performed.

With the home tie against Palace when they huddled, who came up with the idea of lining up ready for when their huddle broke?

I had watched Palace a lot and, to be honest, I think a lot of these huddles are nonsense. I think the majority of times they are done just for the sake of it. I knew Palace done them, so I thought that was an opportunity to get the message across to Palace that when they came out of the huddle, we could let them know that we really weren’t bothered about their huddle and that when they looked up from it they could see our wall of yellow looking down on them. It was a gesture, and to let them know that they didn’t frighten us. It seemed to work as well.

Who would you say was your most effective signing during that promotion season?

It’s a big question! I thought Marlon for scoring the goals was outstanding. I thought Ben grew with us from strength to strength and has obviously gone on to bigger and better things. Those two were both immense for us, but if you were to put me on the spot and choose one, I would have to say Marlon.

When we got promotion to the Premiership, are there any players you can name that we tried to sign but didn’t?

I can’t mention many, but I can tell you we tried to get Saffri from Southampton. I also tried to sign David Beckham. He was having a bad time at Real Madrid at the time so I got Elton to give him a call.

What was Beckham’s response to that?

Thanks very much but I’m going to stick it out in Madrid! I’m pleased he got his La Liga medal in the end.

Tough choice, Madrid or Watford!

I know, I can’t believe he turned it down! I felt we needed a big name signing to try and help us attract others to sign. People were slightly reluctant to join us and I felt it would help. We wanted people who would help us but also keep our identity of working hard but improving the quality.

I think we ended up with players that were prepared to work but maybe weren’t quite at the level. When we first went up we had something like 12 or 13 players that turned us down, all of them wanted to see how we got on first as we had only just come up. Everyone was tipping us to go down so people didn’t really want to come and join us. It happens to all promoted teams. Look at Burnley, they have just had a couple of great results so coming up to the window they may be able to attract one or two more.

One of my favourite players during the promotion season was Springy. When he first signed, did he have any reservations about playing for us due to his links with the enemy up the M1?

I got to know a lot of the lads who were on the fringes at Leeds such as Springy and Clarke. They were a little bit out of the way and Kevin Blackwell didn’t fancy them. Because I had spent some time with them I knew that given the opportunity, Springy would want to come to us because put simply, he wanted to play football. The link was mentioned but I told him if he done well the fans would love him which is right, no matter where he had played before. In the end he had his own little song – which was brilliant – and it all worked out well for him. He did very well, and I have to say I got rid of him too early as well.

Certainly one of the mistakes I made at Watford was getting rid of players too early, Springy was one of them and also Gavin Mahon I got rid of too early. I honestly thought though that Damien Francis was going to be a better player than Springy and he had done it in the Premiership before with Norwich but looking back now, I should have stayed with Springy. He was better for us.

During our time in the Premiership we finished bottom but never got disgraced. We also suffered some terrible luck, the first game at Everton away being the prime example when we didn’t get a penalty when we should have done and had one given against us when it wasn’t handball.

We gave a good account of ourselves and the players never dropped their heads. They just kept going and kept going. I think I was the only one that thought that we could stay up, certainly at the beginning.

We had the evidence though because the amount of games where we came close to getting results. Portsmouth springs to mind where we conceded a late header. We conceded a lot of late goals but we didn’t have the strength in depth to change it. West Ham at home is another one, we were doing ok and then they bring on Sheringham and Bennayoun, and you wonder what to do next! It was all part of it though. When you lose your striker early on who scored 23 goals the season before and you have no replacement it kills you. It showed towards the end when we got a few results but it was too late by then.

I’m still convinced now that had we not lost Marlon we would have got a few more wins that would have resulted in a bit more momentum and we may have done better than what we did.

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If you had your time again in the Premiership and lost the services of King, what would you have done differently?

I should have got more strength in depth, and gone all out to get another forward, probably two forwards. Hendo had such a traumatic season and didn’t do it. He always gave his best but when we needed him to score he didn’t manage it. He could and should have done better. But to be fair to him he got through it and he is a better man and a better player for getting through it.

During the Premiership season there were also a few reported and some rumoured problems with Marlon King outside the club. Can you shed any light on to that?

There were problems with the Jamaican team, but the Jamaican set up is maybe not the most professional and I just tried to support him with it. Sometimes a player like Marlon gets a lot of bad press when he doesn’t always deserve it. He’s not perfect and sometimes he doesn’t help himself, without a doubt. But Marlon is not a bad person, he is a very good person.

When Marlon came to the club and started doing well, some people viewed him as a bad boy that done well for himself. Did you find him hard work to deal with?

No I didn’t. I still speak to him now and get on very well with him. He’s made a few mistakes in his life and I’m sure he will make some more because that is the nature of him. But if you treat him with respect he responds because he is a good lad and obviously a fantastic player.

There were strong rumours of you two having a bust up?

Yeah something to do with a chip shop or something silly wasn’t it? I can honestly tell you now that any player I had, if they ever stepped out of line I was quite happy to have a confrontation with them. I never avoided that because I think you have to be that way. I never went looking for it but I would equally never shy away from that. But that is as far as it went. If you asked any of the players now they would tell you that if they ever stepped out of line then they were told about it in no uncertain terms.

But equally if I ever got it wrong with anything then the players were happy to tell me and I was happy for them to do that. You have to be open and honest as a group because people are not stupid, so everyone was encouraged to have their say. But as for Marlon let me make it clear, there was never a bust up. Towards the end of his time with us other teams wanted him, and with hindsight I probably should have been firmer and told him he wasn’t going anywhere until the end of the season. But I also had to balance it up because I had a player that didn’t want to be there, and I didn’t want to run the risk of disrupting the group.

Ashley Young was obviously another player that did well. At the time he was sold it seemed silly money but it has been proved now that he was worth that amount.

Yeah Ash is another one like Ben that has gone on to do very well for himself. He has been in the PFA team of the year and played for England, and clubs like Real Madrid are rumoured to be looking at him.

Now that is massive thing for a bloke that people classed as a skinny little runt who couldn’t really do anything. A lot of it comes down to his attitude which is fantastic and that has helped him go on to bigger and better things. So long as he can keep his feet on the ground then he can continue to get better and take the rewards that come with it.

When it came to your backroom staff at Watford, it changed a fair bit. Because you were young and new to management, would you say you were stubborn in not always listening to them?

No not at all. There were a lot of things said when Keith left the club such as us falling out, but again it’s not true. Keith would be the first person to tell you that it is down to the manager to manage and make the final decisions. As a management group you sit and get peoples opinions. You might end up changing your own opinion on something and taking someone else’s, but when you walk out of that door it becomes your own opinion because it is you that is going to implement it as you’re the manager, and it is you that is going to be shown the door if it doesn’t go well.

So I was always at pains to ask people what they thought and what their opinions were. We had disagreements, of course we did. If I didn’t want disagreements I would have got ‘yes’ men in but that helps nobody. But after we had got all the ideas, it was ultimately down to me. And when things went well I made sure that everybody got the credit for it, and when things didn’t go well I was the first one to stand up and make sure people knew I was the manager and the man that took the decisions and therefore took the flak.

So in answer to your question, I would say definitely not stubborn but probably too much the opposite. Certainly in the Premiership year and the season after I was guilty of listening to other people’s opinions too much rather than staying close to my core beliefs from what got us promoted in the first place.

After the Premiership season, we started the season well results wise and were sitting pretty at the top, and then came the West Brom home game where we lost 3-0 and that seemed to start the downfall. Could you put your finger on one thing or one area as to what made it tail off so dramatically?

We had a lot of issues that year to deal with that people don’t know about. During that summer Danny Shittu and Hameur Bouazza both came to me telling me they wanted to leave, Marlon wanted to leave, and it is coming to the end of the deadline and you have no replacements for them. You need to try and keep the ship tight and keep the team spirit up, but things are hitting the fan. We had a great start, and then Marlon left in January. Adam Johnson was a big loss also. We didn’t have Ben Foster. Richard done O.K to start with but began to tail off. In answer to your question, I don’t think it was ever one thing but those are the problems that you get.

People think that you have problems when you have no money to spend and things are tough, but it is also tough when you do have money and things have gone well because people get complacent. They have had a taste of the Premiership and they think they are better than what they are. A lot of teams who go down struggle, because you need something fresh in either a change of manager or a massive turnover of players. Look at Leeds, Southampton, Charlton, and Norwich.

As for the West Brom game, we lost Jay Demerit early in that game and we didn’t perform, but then we went to Norwich for the next game and got a good win. I think the real big blow was losing Adam Johnson. When Gareth Southgate phoned me and told me they needed him back it was bad news, because he is obviously a terrific player as he is showing already this season.

Was he recalled because of injuries?

Yes, Gareth wanted him back because he was worried about Downing and he was a bit light in that area. I kept phoning him though trying to get him, and his mum wanted us to have him because he wasn’t getting at game at Middlesbrough and she wanted to see him play regularly. So yeah losing Johnno was a big blow. When you put that with your number one centre forward leaving, and then you replace him with a guy who has several issues. I had always done ok with players who had a track record of success but lost their way a bit, but that has obviously not been the case with Marlon’s replacement and he has not done the business.

What would you say is the issue with Ellington, because he has not done the business at all in his time at the club?

No he hasn’t. I’m going to be ambiguous and not mention any names. But sometimes players can lose their hunger and they forget what got them to where they were in the first place. Sometimes it can be that money changes them, sometimes it can be that women change them, and sometimes it can be that other things change them. There are not many people who can keep looking to get better and want more, and to improve as a person. Sometimes people just lose that cutting edge but it comes from your own mindset. As for Ellington, it hasn’t happened for him for whatever reason.

During your first season we were quite direct, powerful and very effective. For example if we got a free kick it would be planted ready for Foster to hit before any defenders had had chance to re-group or even catch breath. In the season after the Premiership, we got more accusations of being long ball. Were you trying to play two different tactics or were you trying to replicate what we done in the first season?

We were in the process of a transition. We were trying to play a slightly different formation and change what we do but the situation was one of round holes and square pegs. Some of the players could do it such as Tommy Smith who flourished, and some of the players couldn’t do it. We lost our identity a little bit because we were neither direct, nor were we a total football team. During the transition Frank McPartland and I identified 24 players that we thought were suitable for how we wanted to do it, 24 that we couldn’t get. So effectively we had to go with what we had. The expectation was high, but the tools to do the job with were not high, to put it nicely! I guess looking back it was only going to have one ending.

Do you think in the play offs against Hull we could and should have given a better account of ourselves?

We were in a slump, and I tried to do something completely different. That was the start of us trying to change the style. It worked to an extent because we surprised them. Had Danny’s goal been given then things might have been a lot different. Then up there we scored early on but then Richard Lee makes an error that could happen at any time through the season, but the timing was awful. Just before half time, we were 1-0 up and they were beginning to wobble a little bit. Its just one of things that happens in football.

The season after that we had another go at it but things were vastly different because players left us, we couldn’t get in the people we wanted for whatever reason so we had to try and make the best of it with what we had, and that is what we did.

There were rumours of a bust up between yourself and Jordan Stewart after we played away at QPR.

I didn’t fall out with him. Sometimes you hear stories of bust ups between players and managers but they are nothing more than professional disagreements that happen in training grounds and all other work places every day. As a manager you are tasked with getting the best out of these players. But no there was no big fall out with him. I told him what I thought of his performance which I had every right to do.

Without divulging too much, we had players at that time that had been very successful and had been rewarded accordingly. Some players expected to be rewarded financially even further. The simple answer is that Watford couldn’t afford to give them the kind of money that they thought they deserved.

Steve Coppell had a similar problem where all his players thought they should be playing for Manchester United. What some players forget all too easily is that they done very well and were rewarded for it, but they are not Premiership players anymore because we got relegated, and after that you have to cut your cloth accordingly.

On the subject of Jordan Stewart, he seemed to split the opinions of the fans somewhat, but was said to be good for the dressing room. What was your opinion on his positives?

When you have players like we had at Watford, you have a choice to make. Every player in football is flawed in some way unless they are playing at the very, very top. They have every attribute physically, mentally, tactically and technically. Those players cost near enough £100 million. To make a team win you have to look at everything you have, weigh it all up and then decide what you are going to do.

At Watford we had two full backs in Jordan Stewart and Lloyd Doyley who physically might be seven or eight out of 10. Technically they might not be as much as that. With that situation you just have to try and get the best out of what you have got. Jordan was brilliant in the dressing room, and also improved his game a lot in his time with us. He was in a team that got promoted but shouldn’t have done if the experts are to be believed. He was fantastic, he helped the team get promoted, and he played in the Premiership and then left for a team that had just come out of the Premiership in DerbyCounty.

He was my first signing, and you can’t say he wasn’t a good signing because he helped get the team to the Premier League. So that is my take on Jordan, I thought he was terrific.

How did you find the 2-1 victory at L***n T**n? You’re not a Watford lad but you were obviously aware of the rivalry.

It was a big thing for us. It was January the 3rd, I remember it well. I’ve been involved in a lot of derby games as a coach and player, including up at Leeds. The one at L***n was very hostile, and I certainly understood what it meant. To go there and win, especially after having Youngy sent off, was a massive thing for us.

There were a lot of histrionics coming out of L***n after the game about us time wasting and generally being a pain in the ass. Was that deliberate for that game in particular or would you have used it against any opposition that day?

We lost our centre forward, our wide player, we were under pressure and it was a local derby. I think the L***n staff, players and fans wanted us to play a wide open attacking game against a team that was 5th or 6th at the time. I had a choice to make. Did I want to play entertaining football and draw, or do I want to take three points against the local rivals?

I’m not particularly bothered who I piss off as long as I win. That may sound bad to some. I would love to constantly play entertaining football, but at times you have to decide between entertaining people and winning, and what would you rather against your local rivals? We all know the answer. The truth is we did have injuries, but some people saw it differently but that is the emotion of the game. We took four points of them that season, I would rather have that than two points and have been end to end.

Did Mike Newell have anything to say to you after the game about the tactics?

No he didn’t. I went to see him after the game and he was fine. He said one or two things on the radio publicly after the game but when I saw him he was fine. I got on O.K with him like I do all the managers, and when we had a drink together in his office he had no problem with it.

Sadly all good things must come to an end and your time did after that 4-3 against Blackpool at the Vic. How much can you tell us about the sequence of events after that game up until the early part of the following week when it was announced you had left the club?

There are a lot of things I can’t say and won’t say because it is not the right thing to do. What I would say is that I was really grateful to the Chairman and the board, and I know Jimmy is back involved now, over that time for giving me the opportunity that many wouldn’t have done. What they done took a lot of balls and a lot of character. What Watford had and what I had in my time there was a brilliant, unbelievable success that we shouldn’t have achieved with what we had, particularly with a rookie manager.

We tasted the high life but we weren’t quite good enough. We got to the semi finals of the cup, the semi finals of the play offs, and then we were in transition. Sometimes there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that are perhaps best left behind the scenes, and to just think of the people and the good times at the start of it. I would never want Watford to not do well. I would hope that the fans, and the players and staff, have as fond memories of that period in the clubs history that I do.

When I look back on it I think of it as a brilliant time. I don’t think back and be cynical and angry about how it ended, I look at the positives. Whatever my next role is, I will take lessons from all the seasons I had at the club. Things I did well, things I didn’t do well and things I will do completely differently. That is part of getting better and growing.

We understand you are not allowed to say how it ended, but however you left do you think it was the right time or would you have liked longer?

Well if I answer that question it will give you the truth about what really happened won’t it?!

We are not trying to dig, honestly! But a few weeks after you left, how did you feel about the timing?

Well lads it all circumstantial, but I can tell you this. If I had stayed we would have done an awful lot better than finishing 13th.

So what are you doing now? Are you actively looking for a job?

Yes I am. I’ve had a break and I am ready to get back in the game. I have criteria for the club I am looking for. I want it to be progressive, that wants to improve and I need to have a good chairman that doesn’t want to make the signings or pick the team. With the way the game is going I think it is important that you live on your feet rather than die on your knees.

What jobs have you applied for so far in your time out?

I did an article in the Times a few weeks ago where I didn’t pull any punches. I said I had been offered a job at a Championship club by the chairman when another manager got it, and there were five other guys that had been told they had got the job as well as me. It’s an absolute shambles of a club but I will let you work out who that is! I got to the last two at Swansea when Paolo Sousa got the job.

I didn’t make it to the last three at Reading which really surprised me, but then again I have got previous with him. I also went for West Brom but didn’t make the last two. When a club really wants you, that’s the time to go. Whilst I was encouraged to apply for these jobs and go for the interview, I think they knew who they wanted beforehand.

Would you have a message for the Watford fans given that you did not get the chance to when you left?

I would love to pass a message on. I never got the chance to at the time and thought it was best I stayed out of the way. I would like to say thank you first of all for all the support. I hope you have fond memories of our time together. I certainly loved it. It was a big part of my life.

Malky Mackay was always supposed to take over from me and it didn’t happen in the way I would have liked it with a guy getting in the way in between but I am sure the fans will get behind Malky like they got behind me, because he is a good man and he is going to be a brilliant manager.

I sincerely wish the club all the very, very best and hopefully one day I will come back with a different team and we can re-live all that stuff again.

Would you ever manage Watford again?

You can never say never, but make no mistake – Watford have a great young manager now who is going to do some brilliant things and I am sure he will get the backing of the board.

Thanks for talking to us Aidy, we really appreciate your time and we wish you well.

No lads, thank you. It is nice to finish it off properly because I didn’t before. There are obviously things I can’t say but overall, Watford was absolutely fantastic and I look forward to coming back one day and seeing everyone. I hope it goes well for you lads and I hope you get what you want.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Quick Fire Round


Favourite Ground (apart from the Vic)
St James Park
Toughest Opponent
Steve McManaman
Best Ever Player
Diego Maradona


Favourite Food
Favourite Drink
Favourite Music
Favourite Holiday Destination
Favourite TV Show
Favourite Film
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Team You Supported as a Boy
Bradford City
Desert Island Woman
She needs to be fabulously sexy and clever, but I cant deal with bimbos - I'll go for Marilyn Monroe!