Watford midfielder Lewis McGugan discusses a change of scenery and the ability of his boss.
Last Updated: 30/11/13 9:22am
The 2013/14 campaign is now well under way, with divisions beginning to take shape.
Here at Sky Sports we will look to take you to the very heart of the Sky Bet Football League over the coming months, with our Spotlight features intended to give you a greater insight into the clubs and players that keep us on the edge of our seats.
We hope to bring you the views and thoughts of a representative from each of the 72 teams over the course of the season, with those involved asked to give their take on the division they compete in, the club that pays their wages and those we should all be keeping an eye on.
Watford's Lewis McGugan is next into the hot-seat, with the Hornets midfielder taking time out to discuss a change of scenery and the ability of his boss with Chris Burton.
On a personal level, how do you think you've settled in at Watford?
I think I've settled in really well. Obviously it has been a big transition period for me - Forest were my local team and I'd been there my entire career, so it was a big decision for me, but everyone has been first class around the club and helped me to settle in.
You were at Forest for so long, was it just a case of taking on a new challenge and finding something different?
Exactly. Sometimes you can become a bit stale. No disrespect towards Nottingham Forest, I had a great time there and it's all I know from football and I had some good times there, but it's just a change of scenery. That's how I look at it - as a fresh, new challenge.
Were there times when you were a bit 'should I, shouldn't I'? Were you torn?
Of course. It was a really tense summer. I had a lot of talks with my agent and with my family and really made sure that I was making the right decision. Like I say, it was a really massive decision to make - leaving something that is basically all you know. It was a big decision but I spoke to the right people about it and they helped me. Now, here I am.
How big a factor was Gianfranco Zola in your decision and the chance to work with him as a midfielder and someone who is known for being dangerous over a dead-ball?
That sort of opportunity doesn't come around too often. As a player he was at the top, top level and achieved everything at that level. If I can learn anything from him it will help me for the future, and that's what I'm here to do.
Has he still got it in training? Does he turn it on from time to time?
Yeah. Now and again he does. You can see now that he's still got it. You can just imagine how good he was in his prime.
You've started well under him and have chipped in with a few goals, that's a big part of your game isn't it and it was important to open your account early?
I got off the mark in my second game, my first home game of the season, so that was nice. It was a bit of a lift-off from there. I moved, I wanted to play football and that was one of the major reasons I moved. I wanted to play week in, week out and at this moment in time I have been able to do that. I have started every game I could, so it's been brilliant. I just have to keep on working hard and doing what I can do to make sure I stay in the team.
You got the goal against Forest, it was a bit special but were there mixed emotions?
Yeah, of course there mixed emotions. It did mean a lot. I think it was the first goal they conceded. It meant a lot. I have got a lot of respect towards them because they were a massive part of my career, a massive part of my life and I owe them a lot, but I have got a new challenge now at a new club and that's all I'm focusing on.
Looking at the season as a whole for the club, you've had a bit of a wobble but you're still very much in the mix aren't you and you'd prefer to have a sticky path now rather than later on?
I think every team is going to go through stages, the Championship is like that every season. You have seen it before that people can come out of nowhere and come right up. We have just got to put a run together. It's obviously tough at this point in time but we can't get too frustrated, we've just got to keep playing and doing the same things and eventually the results will turn and we can start moving up the table.
You've had a few injuries, has that contributed to you conceding few more goals than you would have liked?
There have probably been a few games as well where we have maybe lacked a bit in concentration, which has allowed the other team to come back into it and we have dropped two points here and there which has been disappointing. We just have to stay positive, keep doing the right things and hopefully the results will change.
You've got an important run through to the end of the year haven't you, with Burnley, Leeds and QPR all to come?
Every game is tough and every team is fighting for those three points. We can't look too far ahead, we've just got to take each game as it comes, take care of them and move on to the next one. If we do that we'll be okay.
Given how last season ended, since you've come in has there been a feeling of determination in the camp to go one better, rather than people feeling sorry for themselves?
The turnaround and the turnover of things wasn't that long, it was three or four weeks away from the club and then it was back in for pre-season. Obviously it's going to linger and obviously it's going to stay in the minds of those who were involved, but we have got a chance to go one better this year and we've just got to get together and use last year as an experience, learn from that and try to put it right this year.
And maybe a couple more in January to really help you push on over the second half of the season?
Other teams are probably going to have a push and strengthen in one or two areas. We have got to stay as a squad and if anyone comes in it is only going to benefit us and help the team. We all have to keep pushing in the right direction and do our best for the football club.