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On the back of three matches without a win and just one goal being scored, Watford supporters were quick to make comparisons between former boss Vladimir Ivic and incumbent Xisco.
However, a 6-0 victory over Bristol City and a hard-fought 1-0 success at Preston North End have lifted the mood at Vicarage Road, giving fans hope that their side can still challenge for the top two.
Their three nearest rivals have matches in hand, something which needs to be taken into consideration when evaluating Watford’s chances of gaining automatic promotion.
Nevertheless, Xisco has now collected 20 points from his 10 league matches in charge, and maintaining that ratio may be enough to edge out the likes of Norwich City, Brentford and Swansea City come the end of the campaign.
The Hornets have also kept four clean sheets in their last five fixtures, the only goals conceded coming during the final 17 minutes of their defeat to Queens Park Rangers.
While Watford can currently claim to be a team very much on the up, their next encounter comes against the form team in the second tier over the past six games.
Like their hosts, the only real blot on Derby’s copybook came courtesy of an unexpected capitulation during the closing stages of their game at Rotherham United on February 3.