Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo has said he believes the next three English Championship matches will determine whether Watford will secure automatic promotion to the Premier League or end up in the playoffs.
‘The Hornets’ will welcome seventh-placed Ipswich Town to Vicarage Road Saturday before games against fellow automatic promotion-contenders Derby County and Middlesbrough follow over the Easter weekend.
The former Flying Eagles captain said: “I believe the next three games will determine our fate in this league. It will decide whether we will go up directly or go into the playoffs.
“This weekend’s game against Ipswich is a must-win game for us. We know it isn’t going to be easy because they are a good team and a contender to get into the Premier League too.
“We have to go out at home, have the support of the fans and by God’s grace we will win this game.
“If we win Saturday, then we think about Derby. We know the next three games can give us what we want.
“We just have to go out and do our best. I am calling our fans on Saturday to make the ground all yellow and black. I think they can really help us.”
‘The Hornets ‘moved into the Championship’s automatic promotion places after they defeated Reading 4-1 and then went top on goals’ difference on Tuesday night following their 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic.
With eight games of the season to go Watford know their promotion fate is in their own hands and Ighalo wouldn’t have it any other way.
He said: “We want to be on top of the league. When you are on top clubs are pushing you and that can make you nervous.
“But I would rather be top of the league and I want teams to be pushing us. We have the best chance of going up if we are top.
“We just have to keep working and we want to win every game. Being top of the league now doesn’t matter, we want to be top come May 2.”
Watford head coach Slavisa Jokanovic, on the other hand, played down the importance of his side going top of the table after Tuesday night’s win.
However, the Serbian admitted he was pleased to see the Golden Boys occupying top spot and said: “We are in a good mental moment. We are starting to believe in ourselves and the players are believing in their teammates.
“We believe we can finish this competition in an important place in the table.”
‘The Hornets’ coach continued, “I prefer to not speak about what will happen at the end of the season. I am thinking about Ipswich because that is what I control.”