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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 16 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Nov 28, 2006

Transfer window hinders survival hopes - Boothroyd

Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd believes the current transfer system makes keeping his team in the Premiership more difficult.

Boothroyd is desperate for the transfer window to open in January so he can strengthen in attack, where Darius Henderson is the only fit, orthodox centre-forward.

With Marlon King out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, Boothroyd's men look light in attack but the 35-year-old can do nothing about it until the turn of the year.

'We have only one recognised striker, so the previous system of year-round transfers would be better for us,' Boothroyd said.

'This is a crucial period for us, not just for climbing the table, but for attracting players here.

'I know the money will be there, and we are already making enquiries and planning for January.'

Watford are 19th in the table, one point and one place below tonight's opponents Sheffield United, and an improvement in form would enhance Boothroyd's chances of making quality signings in January.

But the Hornets have won just one of their 13 league matches this term and face a long battle against relegation.

Boothroyd laughed off speculation he was keen to sign striker Ade Akinbiyi from Sheffield United and has also been linked with Leeds' David Healy, West Ham's Carlton Cole and West Brom's Nathan Ellington.

Boothroyd added: 'If we are serious about being a top-10 club it is absolutely vital for us to stay in the Premiership this season.

'We have to start putting points on the board. We know we are performing reasonably well but we have not won the games we should have won.

'We have had only one win and six draws from 13 league games, and I have never been through a period like this as a manager.

'I am used to winning, so it has been different for me. But I do not believe we are too far away from being a consistent, winning team.

'Now is the time for us to start proving it.'

Winger Hameur Bouazza is doubtful with an ankle injury and goalkeeper Ben Foster (knee), defender Clarke Carlisle (thigh) and forward King (knee) are all sidelined.