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Alec happy to have played his part in ensuring Watford's Championship survival

2 May 2005

Recalled goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain says he is delighted that Watford will be playing Championship football next season, following the 1-0 victory at Stoke City on Saturday.

Alec kept his third successive clean sheet since stepping in for the injured Richard Lee, and says it is a big relief to know that fears of relegation have now been banished.

"That's 7 points from three games, and it's a massive relief to know we can go into the final game of the season - at home to West Ham on Sunday - without looking over our shoulder.

"It was also a big win for our new manager, Adrian Boothroyd, who has achieved his first objective since he arrived at the club last month - he has kept us up, so that's a big confidence boost for him in his first job in management.

"But having secured Championship football next season, I'm sure he's already starting to plan ahead for next season, and it obviously gives him a chance to stamp his authority on team affairs."

It is the second season running that Alec has answered the call, and returned to first team action at a stage in the season when Watford desperately needed points to see off the spectre of The Drop. Last season he was recalled by Ray Lewington with eight games to play, and his calming influence helped bat away any fears of being dragged into a relegation dogfight, as results immediately picked up.

But Alec, who is looking forward to his testimonial match against Charlton on July 30, remains as modest as ever: "Well Richard Lee's had a superb season, so changing goalkeeper certainly hasn't really made a difference - the players know us both equally as well.

"Obviously, from a personal point of view it's great to come in and keep three clean sheets, and to know that I'm still sharp enough and fit enough to compete for a first team place less that two months from my 41st birthday.

"Hopefully, from the manager's point of view, he'll have seen that I still can play at this level, and he knows I still want to play, and keep Richard on his toes for another season at least!"

Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.

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