Under fire Aidy Boothroyd says he is thriving amid the mounting pressure and criticism that has flowed from the terraces following Wednesday night's horror show at home to Barnsley.

A number of fans called for the Hornets boss to be sacked in the immediate aftermath of the crushing defeat at home to the relegation-haunted Tykes, fearing Watford's hopes of promotion are fading fast amid a series of sub-standard performances that have yielded just one win in ten matches.

While a change at the helm at this stage of the season would be senseless, there are grave mis-givings about Boothroyd's team selection, much-maligned style of play and transfer dealings. Some supporters have questioned whether he has taken the team as far as he can.

A weary-looking Boothroyd was unusually downbeat at his weekly press conference yesterday (Thursday), lacking his normal spark and ebullience, but he remains confident Watford will finish in the top two and that he is the right man to take the team forward.

"I'm at my best right now," he declared. "I just take the criticism on the chin, move on and bounce back. I accept anything that comes my way. I do that because I haven't got any choice.

"It would be easy for me to criticise fans. Evidently, we are not going to give our fans anything to cheer about unless we win.

"I could say, Where was the club two-and-a-half years ago?' But that's not right. If you set your expectations high and then don't deliver then you come in for criticism. I will always be judged on what I say. Some of the personal stuff is par for the course from people who don't know you any better."

For the full story, see this week's Watford Observer.