Doucouré: “Everyone Is Committed”
By Kevin Affleck
Abdoulaye Doucouré feels Watford have sent a message to the rest of the Premier League that they are on the charge after the heart-stopping win over Wolves.
The Hornets looked to have given themselves a mountain to climb when a draw at home to Crystal Palace left them six points adrift of the side fourth from bottom, but a run of three wins and a draw in four games has put them within striking distance of safety and changed the landscape.
“We need to forget the table when we are on the pitch and just play like a team,” said the all-action midfielder on Added Time. “We need to look after ourselves and only look at the table after the game. We need to fight and now all the other teams look at us and say, ‘Ah, they are coming back.’ We have ended our struggle and are on a good run. We need to keep going until the end. Now everyone believes anything is possible.”
Doucouré has looked transformed since Nigel Pearson walked through the door. He has thrived playing in a more advanced position and his ability to stretch the play and go from box to box has energised the team.
“I used to play in this position when I was in France,” he said. “Now Nigel is playing me in this position. I will play wherever but I’m pleased with this position as I can get forward and also get back to protect the midfield. The spirt is fantastic and, as Troy said last week, we have energy to burn. You can see it in the pitch and we must keep going.”
Doucouré slammed in his second of the season on New Year’s Day and his first at home since April. He felt it was about time he chipped in after some opportunities he would usually gobble up went begging this season.
“I need to score more goals,” said Doucouré, who got seven in 2017/18. “I need to push myself. I scored one today and I need to keep going. I missed some big chances this season, especially against Liverpool and Man United but today I think I deserved to score that goal. It was deflected but I’m so happy as it was an important goal.”
The goal represented a perfect birthday present for the midfielder, who turned 27 on New Year’s Day. It also gave the team a two-goal cushion and meant they were able to withstand a late assault from Wolves and hold on for a hugely significant win.
“The team played so well,” said Doucouré. “We deserved to win. We fight a lot, we are all together. It’s 10 points from 12 and we are so happy. We want to carry on. We managed the game well, everyone is committed with the team and we are showing it on the pitch. We dropped too many points this year and now we are on a good run. We have to carry on, we have to push forward and get out of this position as soon as possible. Nigel is here to push the team, Craig [Shakespeare] as well and we are happy to have this kind of coach.”