Watford were promoted from the Second Division in 1997–98. Elimination from their first games in the League Cup and FA Cup to Cambridge United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively enabled Watford to focus on their league campaign. After winning their opening three league games, Watford gradually moved from the top of the table to a mid-table position. Following consecutive defeats to Swindon Town, Ipswich Town and Sheffield United in February and early March, a play-off position appeared unlikely. However, seven wins and a draw from the last eight games was enough to earn Watford a play-off spot on the last day of the season.