Is Ben Watson's new contract a show of intent from Watford?

Watford FC Stadium Inside

The experienced midfielder signed a contract extension this week, but is it a sign that the Hornets are planning for next season in the Premier League?

Watford were the big winners in midweek, moving up to third place after beating Fulham 1-0 on Tuesday night and taking advantage of slip-ups by East Anglian duo Norwich City and Ipswich Town. The other news for the Vicarage Road club was a contract extension signed by Ben Watson, ensuring his stay at the club would last until 2017.

The 29-year-old ex-Crystal Palace and Wigan midfielder joined the Hornets in the January transfer window as Dave Whelan cleared the decks at the DW Stadium, and Watson has brought plenty of top flight experience with him to reinvigorate a promotion charge which has seen him contribute to seven wins in the nine games since he joined.

Watson will always be remembered for scoring the dramatic late winner at Wembley to clinch Wigan's first ever silverware in the 2013 FA Cup Final against Manchester City, but his Premier League experience is proving a major asset as Slavisa Jokanovic plots a return to the Promised Land, amid a season of behind-the-scenes upheaval.

Although Watford have managed to keep hold of regular marksmen Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra, it is the addition of Nigerian Odion Ighalo that has made the headlines with 17 league goals so far this season. Watford now lie in third place, level on points with second-placed Derby County, in the Sky Bet Championship table.

However, Watson is happy for people to be speaking about other clubs while Watford quietly put a decisive-looking run together, as he told the Evening Standard: “No one is going to run away with the League and win it by 10 or 20 points. It will be whoever is the most consistent in these last 11 games who will get promoted. Normally a team has pulled away by now but it’s so tight and the one good thing is that we’ve not been mentioned yet."

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