IAN Evatt hopes Wanderers will rise to the challenge at Watford’s plush training base tomorrow afternoon.

The Whites travel down to Colney in St Albans – a complex often used by England’s national team in the past – for their fifth pre-season friendly of the summer, and the third to be played behind closed doors.

Evatt comes up against his former Blackpool team-mate, Rob Edwards, who has recently taken charge of the Hornets after success with Forest Green Rovers last season.

Watford, recently relegated from the top flight, have played two pre-season games to date – losing 3-1 against Cambridge United before a goalless draw in Austria against Greek club Panathaniakos.

Even though Wanderers suffered their first pre-season blip against Wigan Athletic at the weekend, Evatt hopes to sustain the same level of performance he saw on Saturday, preferably with better decision-making in the final third.

“I just think it is another competitive game against very good Championship opposition, a team that has just been relegated from the Premier League,” he said of the Watford friendly.

“We just have to improve again and see the ideas and fundamentals of what we are trying to achieve.

“It’ll be a massive test. Every game offers a different challenge and test and I like the way that pre-season is building to these bigger teams and the bigger fixtures.

“The head coach, Rob, I know really well. He has just got the job there and is a good friend of mine. It’ll be a good test for both parties and hopefully we’ll come out of it with a good performance again and get the right result this time.”

Evatt saw enough in a narrow defeat against Wigan to suggest his side is improving gradually as pre-season moves along.

“I think it (the Wigan game) was a huge improvement from Stockport. Given the opposition and what we are facing, to dominate the game is excellent and shows you how far we have come really in a short space of time.

“We are disappointed with the result, but the result doesn’t really matter at the moment, it’s more about performance.

"The results start mattering against Ipswich Town away on July 30 and we have to make sure we are ready for them, but I’m on the whole really pleased with how we are progressing.”

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