The replay as Blackburn ended up being a confidence boosting game, seeing us win 4-2 in extra time, but it came at a cost.
It saw us play 120 minutes of football in midweek, stretched our squad to its limit and left us with knocks to several first-team players – with us not having enough depth in our squad to play a side full of fringe men or youngsters.
Here’s what Owen’s had to say ahead of today’s game – with him what could be a disastrous draw as far as Rafa’s concerned:
“Seven goals in their last two games for Newcastle but, more importantly, three valuable Premier League points courtesy of an emphatic 3-0 win over Cardiff at the weekend.
“United have already taken four points from Watford in the league this season although the Hornets will feel aggrieved to come away from St James’s Park earlier in the campaign with nothing to show for their efforts, having created a number of chances in their 1-0 defeat.
“The sides played out a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road over Christmas and I feel it will take a replay to split these evenly-matched sides.”
We will no doubt play a stronger side to the one that won atBlackburn, but we really can’t afford any more injuries with some tough games on the horizon, with us due to play City, Spurs and Wolves before a crucial home game with Huddersfield – so we could really do with as much recovery time as possible.
Watford are a stronger outfit than Blackburn and with them being in a healthy league position they may want to have a good cup run, so I can’t see them resting many players.
We don’t have the luxury of a healthy league position or a big squad , so taking the game to another replay will be a nightmare for Rafa, and a midweek trip to near enough London would be an unwanted distraction from Premier League duties.