When The Going Get's Tough ...

Last updated : 19 December 2006 By Footy Mad - Editor

... the Watford strikers, but they are learning from every match.

Glenn Roeder will dip into the transfer market in January and bring in two experienced defenders, so all three know they could be well down the pecking order come the summer. But Roeder will not forget the debt he owes the youngsters for getting him out of the mess he was in when his entire backline (Carr, Bramble, Moore and Barayaro) were crocked.

Roeder: "I'm delighted with the three young defenders. I've had the chance to assess Steven Taylor and Peter Ramage a lot more since last February and I have confidence in them. It's amazing, you're not sure what to expect when putting a young player into the side. You ask yourself as a manager: `Are they really ready for first-team football?'

"When your hand's forced you have to give them an opportunity and keep your fingers crossed. All three have done an excellent job this week.

"Paul couldn't have had a tougher debut at Chelsea, a centre-back at full-back, but he handled Arjen Robben as well as anyone has all season and Robben's world-class.

"Making his home debut, the expectation's completely different. We're expected to put Watford under pressure and attack. He was playing in front of his home crowd and the pressure on him was greater than Wednesday in many respects.

"Overall, he didn't put a foot wrong. He kept it simple. He defended safely, we didn't want him to get forward over-lapping on the right. He's a centre-back who is a good listener. He used the ball with a minimum of fuss, he was nice, neat and tidy, which is what I'd asked him to do. A year ago he was playing on the academy pitches and picked up 40 stitches in an eye and a night in hospital after (Tim) Krul almost kicked his head off. Now look where he is. Maybe there's a good future for him but let's not hype him up or get carried away."