By Paul Jones
Neil Harris insists he is “not fussed” by the presence of Watford fans for Cardiff City’s visit to Vicarage Road on Saturday.
The Bluebirds manager is more concerned by the continued absence of his own club’s fans from home games which he says is leading to unfairness within the Championship.
Fans returned to Football League matches for the first time in 266 days on Wednesday as clubs in tiers one and two welcomed back supporters.
Limited crowds were permitted to attend at Luton and Wycombe in the Championship, Charlton and Shrewsbury in League One and Carlisle and Cambridge in League Two, after nationwide lockdown restrictions in England ended on Tuesday.
EFL clubs in tier three areas continued to play their games behind closed doors on Wednesday and the same goes for Welsh clubs after the Welsh Government declared the doors would remain closed.
“I’m not fussed if Watford fans are there or not at the weekend,” said Harris, whose team have won back-to-back matches in an empty home stadia and scored seven goals while conceding none.
“We are not going to see fans back in our stadium, we have spoken about that hindering us.
“It is what it is, the Welsh Government have made their decision. Football as a whole needs supporters. I’m quietly pleased for teams that are getting supporters back, every sport needs them.
“But, unfortunately we are not in that position to welcome our fans back.
“Does it have an effect? If anything it will spur my players on. It will have more of an away game feel about it.
“You hope over the course of the season it might even itself out a little bit and you get to play home games with fans and away games when there isn’t, just to even out the amount of games where they’re at but it is what it is.”
Watford have only lost once in their last 11 matches and are unbeaten at Vicarage Road this season.
They are currently third in the table, just a point from top spot, but Harris believes the momentum Cardiff have gained from their last two matches enables them to think more about their own game than their opponents.
“I watched Watford last night against Forest and over the course of the season and they have got good players.
“They are a team who will think they should be standing out in the Championship this season and returning to the Premier League.
“We know it’s a tough challenge but I’m not too fussed about what they are doing, I’m focused on us.
“It just echoes what I’ve been saying the last few days, it’s about our standards, qualities and what we do.
“We have to stop the opposition, tactically it has to be right, no individual errors but the football has to be as positive as the last two games.
“I think we are a match for any team. I thought Bournemouth were very good against us. Other than that I haven’t seen many teams who have been better than us this season.
“We don’t fear anybody in the division, that’s for sure.”