Craig Cathcart is expecting a step up in intensity today as he goes head-to-head with his Northern Ireland teammate Conor Washington in what is being billed as the DRYWORLD derby.
Watford have ended a run of pre-season games against Woking, Stevenage, Union Berlin and Anzhi Makhachkala unbeaten but Queens Park Rangers are just a week away from kicking off their Championship season against Leeds United so will use this afternoon’s game as a final dress rehearsal.
“It will be a step up in level,” said Cathcart. “Pre-season is a chance to get yourself ready and QPR will be a test. They will be expecting to push for promotion this year and they’ve got some good players. It will be another chance to get a minutes few under the belt.”
Cathcart should find himself up against Washington, the forward who came on as a 69th-minute substitute in Northern Ireland’s last-16 clash with Wales in France. Washington and QPR have experienced a mixed pre-season. They beat Aldershot 3-2 thanks to two goals from former Arsenal forward Jay Emmanuel Thomas and then followed that up with a 1-0 win over Dutch champions PSV. However, then came a 3-1 defeat to Groningen, a 1-1 draw at Northampton Town, a goalless draw with Wycombe and then a 1-1 draw with Burton, the former club of R’s boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Eager to see their team in their new kit, Watford supporters can buy a ticket today, for the game that kicks off at 3pm, at the Loftus Road away turnstile (cash only). The School Lower Tier is for away supporters only.