Watford's mock penalty shoot-out inspired by Woodward

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The decision by Adrian Boothroyd, the Watford manager, to stage a pretend penalty shoot-out after Monday's 2-1 win over Ipswich came following a tip from Sir Clive Woodward, it emerged yesterday.



Following the victory at Vicarage Road, Boothroyd divided his 16-man squad into two teams and ordered them to take spot-kicks, with the crowd even asked to boo their own players.

Boothroyd believes the shoot-out will prepare his players should the real thing happen in the Championship play-offs, and had the idea following a conversation with Woodward, the former England rugby union coach, who is now the director of football at Southampton.

"Clive is a World Cup winner and I have spoken to him about his experiences of sudden-death situations," Boothroyd said. "He came up with the idea of staging the shoot-out, which I thought was great."

Many in football have questioned the wisdom of bringing Woodward into the game, but Boothroyd believes he has plenty to offer. "If a guy has won a World Cup, he has to be very, very good at something," Boothroyd said. "We should welcome him into the game."

"You can practise in training but you cannot recreate a penalty shoot-out under match conditions, so we thought we would re-create it at Vicarage Road - and the fans were brilliant."

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