With Watford’s opening game of the new Championship season being the last of the weekend, head coach Rob Edwards admits he just wants the season to start.

The Hornets host Sheffield United at Vicarage Road tonight (8pm), and Edwards said he is feeling like most fans are.

“I think the game just needs to come now,” he said.

“We’ve had six weeks of full-on pre-season, and we’ve done lots of talking about football. Now all of us want to play football.”

With no fresh injury concerns, Edwards heads into this evening with all those involved in the Southampton game available for duty – and he’s had a busy and demanding pre-season with his players.

“I’m happy with where we’re at right now, but where we’re at right now is not the end goal,” he said.

“We’re only six weeks into what I hope will be a long journey. I’m pleased with things as they stand now, the players have all got on board and worked hard.”

The Blades were beaten in last season’s play-off semi-finals, an experience which can sometimes leave a hangover for the next season. Edwards, though, thinks it could boost their confidence.

“It was a long time ago but when I was at Wolves we lost in a play-off semi-final under Mick McCarthy. Not long after that the club bounced back and went up,” he said.

“Sheffield United can probably draw confidence from how close they came last season. I can’t guess at how they’re thinking or feeling, but having gone close last season everyone will see them as one of the fancied teams this season.

“What we do know is what Sheffield United and Paul Heckingbottom are about. I know what sort of shape they’ll be, and their DNA is to run and fight. They have good quality players too.

“Sheffield United fans expect to see a hard work ethic, and that is what we have worked on in the summer, so that we can match and hopefully beat anyone in terms of hard work.

“If we match and better their work ethic, then we have some very good players who can really hurt them. If you don’t match Sheffield United, then you're in trouble.”