Boothroyd: 'We're now a model for other clubs. We won't go down'

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The Independent Football

Adrian Boothroyd said he had fulfilled a "destiny" by being promoted to the Premiership yesterday and stated categorically that Watford will avoid relegation next season.

They will start as favourites to go down, but Boothroyd yesterday again displayed the irrepressible self-belief that has characterised his time as a manager. "We're now a model for other clubs that don't have a great deal of money but from good organisation, a real hunger and a no-fear attitude everything is possible," he said.

"I know we are favourites to go down, but we won't. Because if I start thinking about things like that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think anything is possible. I'm one of these weird people who doesn't need evidence to believe. But I will also look to evidence - Bolton, Charlton, Wigan."

Boothroyd added: "I felt today was our destiny, our day. It's about playing the game but not the occasion."

Boothroyd said that his own disappointing playing career, cut short by injury, had also inspired him. "I flitted around as a player and as a coach and now I want to build something. I knew we would get here."

Boothroyd will have to add to his squad, but said: "I'm not one to get overexcited. It will be prudent and I will make sure the ones who do come in will add to the ones we have got. We will be going for the players who are young, hungry and want to be here."

The Leeds manager, Kevin Blackwell, admitted his team "were not good enough. Simple as that. Sometimes you have to be magnanimous and step away. Watford got to the ball first and played a basic game but it worked. We didn't get at them." It was not his first taste of disappointment in the play-off final, having lost, as assistant manager, with Sheffield United three years ago. "I lost 3-0 last time so I must be getting something wrong. It hurts like hell," he said.

However, Blackwell claimed there were positives. "You have to start and put together a side that is competitive and that's what we weren't 18 months ago," he said in reference to the club's troubles and administration. "Next season was the season we were going to give it a go for promotion. The fact that we were in a final 18 months after coming out of the Premier League and losing all our players and money is a credit to everyone concerned.

"We can take the bitterness and hurt of losing. We will all have to live with that. The winner smiles and the loser can do as he pleases."

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