Watford’s Craig Cathcart says he was pleased to get back playing regularly last season and hopes the campaign ahead will see Northern Ireland clinch qualification for Euro 2020.
After an injury-affected 2017-18 Cathcart got back to full fitness and played 50 games last season. He ended a standout season playing a part in Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifying wins over Estonia and Belarus. Those results mean it is four wins from four, leaving Michael O’Neill’s team top of Group C.
The campaign begins again in September with home games to come against Luxembourg and Germany. Cathcart says that there is hard work ahead if the side are to make Euro 2020, and the 30-year-old said: “If we’ve another successful season we won’t be far away from playing in the Euros.
We go into the games in September and October and they will be great nights at Windsor Park again. “We know the games are going to be tougher against high-quality teams, but we have to take confidence from the results that we’ve had so far and the way we have been playing.”
Before Cathcart starts to think about Northern Ireland, the new Premier League season is not far away after an encouraging season last time out at Vicarage Road ending with an FA Cup final appearance. The Hornets have a pre-season game arranged at Championship side QPR before beginning the new league campaign at home to Brighton on August 10.
Watford are at 1.95 to start off with a win with the Seagulls 3.80 and the draw 3.40. Their first away game comes a week later when they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton and a reunion with former boss Marco Silva. Watford are at 41.00 to finish in the top-six in the Premier League.