Cathcart: “We Felt The Supporters’ Optimism”

By: Watford FC Staff

Craig Cathcart was delighted to play a part in providing Watford fans with their first home win since November, with the Hornets beating Sheffield United 1-0 in their Sky Bet Championship opener.

João Pedro finished off a clever counter-attacking move to net the decisive goal at Vicarage Road in a hard-fought contest with the Blades, where Cathcart and the Hornets picked up a clean sheet for their efforts at the other end.

Eager to mark the first game of the season with a win, the Northern Irishman felt the Golden Boys upped their intensity in the second half, which played a major role in collecting all three points in the game.

“You always want to get off to a good start, especially being at home where we haven’t won for a long time,” said the defender. “We managed to do that tonight, performed well and overall it was a good performance that reflected the hard work in pre-season.

“We felt the optimism of the supporters even before the game, they were right behind us throughout the whole match. As soon as we got the goal it lifted everyone and the crowd were great tonight, got right behind us. It was good to get the win they deserved for so long.

“We knew it would be tough, Sheffield United are a good side and got into the play-offs last year so we knew it would be difficult from kick-off, but we managed it, kept it quite tight. It was even in the first half, in the second half we stepped it up, showed intensity, won the ball back high and could have had a couple more goals so we’re really pleased.”

The centre-half believes his side could have added to their lead in the second period, but showed solidity throughout to preserve the advantage they already had in the game. Hoping the victory can build momentum, Cathcart knows the upcoming fixtures against West Bromwich Albion (Monday August 8, 8pm KO) and Burnley (Friday August 12, 8pm KO) are equally difficult.

Cathcart added: “As soon as we got the goal the pressure was off us a bit, we killed the clock a bit towards the end but we were still pushing for that second goal. It wasn’t to be, so we managed to hold out for the 1-0 win. It’s a good clean sheet and we look ahead to West Brom now.

“We know we’ve got a difficult start to the season, there are some big teams in this league and we want to compete. We’re a good side and we believe in ourselves.”

Emmanuel Dennis agreed with Cathcart’s assessment of the game, mentioning that it was key to provide the loyal supporters with something to cheer about after just two home league wins last term.

“We had a difficult season last season in the Premier League,” Dennis reflected. “This time we came out to play good football, give the fans something to be happy about and I’m happy, the whole team was brilliant today and we won the game.”

João Pedro was named Man of the Match for his efforts, and his Nigerian strike partner praised the Brazilian’s hard work at the training ground in preparation for the new campaign, also mentioning Head Coach Rob Edwards’ immediate impact at the club.

Dennis added: “[João Pedro] has been brilliant for all of pre-season, and his work in the gym and outside of the gym. He really showed today how important he can be for the team, and scored the winning goal.

“[Edwards] is a good person and a good Head Coach, he gives us a lot of positive energy, he’s a young man and the whole vibe is excitement in the group. Everyone is happy and you can see it in how we play. He’s been really great and his positivity is great for everyone, I’m happy we could give everything and make him happy today.”

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