First Team 1 month ago

Kabasele: “Everybody Is Involved In This Battle”

Christian Kabasele says the Hornets must build upon a recent upturn in form after taking a well-earned point at high-flying Sheffield United.

Nigel Pearson’s side have posted four points from their last six, including the home win over Manchester United, and the Belgian defender believes drawing at Bramall Lane provides Watford with further momentum going into a big game against Aston Villa on Saturday (December 28).

“Sheffield United were not fifth [going into the game] by accident,” said Kabasele, speaking to the Added Time post-match video show.

“They are a good side, it’s really difficult to deal with their overlapping centre-backs. I think we did well most of the time, even if Ben [Foster] had to save us a couple of times.

“It’s okay, it’s one point, we need to keep going like this and try to continue a series of games without defeat.”

One particularly spectacular Foster save saw John Fleck denied from close-range with the scores at 1-1, and like the majority of those watching on, Kabasele thought it was a certain goal prior to the former England goalkeeper’s unbelievable intervention.

“To be honest, I saw already the ball in the goal but he did an incredible save to keep us in the game,” he said.

“It’s good to know that you have the goalkeeper who can help you when it’s difficult. Today some moments were really difficult but we relied on Ben to keep us in the game and it’s good to have everybody involved in this battle.”

Kabasele is fast becoming one of the Hornets’ most important performers – in fact Watford have lost just two of the 11 matches that the Belgium international has started this season, and they’ve only conceded nine goals with him on the pitch.

“I feel good. I try to do everything possible to stay for as long as possible on the pitch,” said Kabasele.

“But in our situation it’s not a question about myself, it’s about the team. If I’m on the pitch and we take all the points every time, of course it’s a plus for me, but I want as well the team to get some points even if maybe in one moment I will get injured or suspended.

“It’s not a question about me and I’d prefer it if we’d conceded more goals when I’ve played, but taken more points.”

First Team 1 month ago

Pearson: “We Showed Real Resilience”

Nigel Pearson was encouraged by a steely resilience at the home of the Blades which once again helped the Hornets pick up a result despite not putting in their best performance.

“The important thing for me was that we showed some real traits of resilience in what is a difficult place to come to,” said the Head Coach.

“To come away with a positive result is good for us. The mantra is, I suppose, if you can’t win, don’t get beat. We had to dig our heels in and be resilient and sometimes ride our luck but we go away with something for our efforts.”

The Hornets soaked up pressure from Chris Wilder’s high-flying side and looked to exploit their vulnerability on the counter-attack, in similar fashion to Sunday’s victory against Manchester United.

“When you play here you play against a really good brand of football, but every brand of football has its weaknesses and I think our goal was an example of being able to exploit one weakness which how they play will present you with, and that is a swift counter-attack,” said Pearson.

“I thought it was a really good goal from our perspective, and we had a couple of other good situations. I’m happy with the result because I didn’t feel that we were in charge enough in key moments to force a win, but I was also pleased with how we were prepared to put our bodies on the line to keep the ball out of our net.”

The away point lifts the Hornets above Norwich City and off the bottom of the table, but Pearson is not fixated on this piece of knowledge as he knows the team’s fate will depend on their own performances.

“I wasn’t aware [we are off the bottom of the table]. I suppose it might be [a lift] but I’m very single-minded in terms of just looking, every time we play, at our own fixtures,” he said.

“For me it’s not about how we extrapolate how the season is going to go from here on in, we’ve just got to make sure we do enough in every game we play to make some progress. If we climb, fine, but we’ll still have setbacks.

“I want the players to look at [putting in] performances of a standard we’re happy with and are accountable for. Given time, that gives us a better chance of avoiding relegation. It’s as simple as that really.”