Edwards: “We’re Going To Grow Together”

By: Watford FC Staff

Watford Head Coach Rob Edwards admitted West Bromwich Albion were the better side on the night in a competitive 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns, but was satisfied with the effort and desire of his team to fend off attacks and threaten with chances of their own.

A moment of magic saw Ismaïla Sarr’s audacious effort go in from the Hornets’ own half just after 10 minutes, with Karlan Grant’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time levelling the score.

In a game where the Baggies had significant possession but were unable to breach the Golden Boys’ goal thanks to strong defending and Daniel Bachmann’s impressive display, Edwards highlighted his side’s commitment for the full 90 minutes.

“I can’t say I enjoyed it, but what I did enjoy was the fight and the heart that we showed throughout,” Edwards began.

“It wasn’t our night with the ball and I want to give West Brom credit, clearly they were the better team tonight, and we’ve spoken about that in the dressing room. We couldn’t get any rhythm, we couldn’t keep the ball long enough and we weren’t able to press very well. We had to adjust twice.

“But I’m proud of the fight, togetherness and spirit they showed and a bit of luck as well, but I thought we earned that luck to get a point out of a very difficult place.”

Sarr’s strike is already earning Goal of the Season suggestions, and his Head Coach gave him full credit. Edwards felt the Senegal winger showed bravery to step up in the second half to take a penalty, even if the shot was saved from 12 yards.

“I’ve not seen that yet [in training] but I’m not surprised by it because he [Sarr]’s super talented,” the 39-year-old smiled. “I didn’t see it coming but as soon as it left his foot I knew it was in. It was an amazing goal. That’s down to Isma and his quality; it was one of those moments of genius.

“I’m sure he’ll be disappointed [about the penalty] but he’s been incredible and is a big reason why we got a point. He’s brave enough to step up and take the penalty, it didn’t go in but we probably didn't deserve it, so we deal with that and support him.”

At the other end, Bachmann’s heroics between the sticks were crucial to picking up a point in the Midlands, denying the Baggies’ forwards on several occasions.

Edwards continued: “You need everyone’s help to get results in this league. He made some very good saves, and did his job well. The lads in front of him try and protect him as much as possible but we needed him tonight; he stepped up really well.”

A quick turnaround sees Burnley visit Vicarage Road on Friday night, in another difficult test for Edwards’ charges. He knows his team can improve on the performance, but takes heart from the effort they showed.

“When it really counted we showed a lot of desire to keep the ball out of the net, so that element I’m really pleased with,” added the Head Coach. “We know we can do better, and I’ll take responsibility for the performances but we will improve. It's game number two, we’ve come to a difficult place and got a point, but we’re going to grow together with a big game on Friday.

“We’ll be better with the ball. We’re at home so we want to be more aggressive with and without the ball. Tonight it wasn’t our night and West Brom were top class. I’m sure we’ll be better on Friday and we have to be because Burnley are a really good team. We’re already looking forward to it.”

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