Ranieri: “We Showed Very Good Character”

By: Watford FC Staff

Claudio Ranieri was “satisfied” with a draw against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, but the Italian wants to see more from his side in the upcoming Premier League fixtures as the Hornets pursue a victory.

João Pedro’s late header brought Watford back on level terms in a competitive afternoon in the North East, after Allan Saint-Maximin opened the scoring in the second half.

A strong final 30 minutes saw the Golden Boys dictate play and create several chances, but the Hornets Head Coach would like to see the control for a more prolonged period of the match.

“I am satisfied, but I want more from my players,” said Ranieri, 70.

“We played our football in the last 30 minutes. We conceded too many chances with set pieces and in the second half they only created the goal and we created more chances.

“I am happy because we drew the match but I am not happy because we didn’t play as well as we used to do. I understand my players, after six defeats in a row maybe you are a little anxious but they have to play.”

There were three debutants in the Watford starting XI, and Ranieri was full of praise for the trio. Edo Kayembe, Hassane Kamara and Samir all played the full 90 minutes on Tyneside, adding more “quality” to the Hornets.

Substitutes Kiko Femenía and Cucho Hernández were both involved in João Pedro’s equaliser. Ranieri explained his decision to bring on the duo and Tom Cleverley, highlighting tired legs as his reason to make the switch.

“They were fantastic, all three. They gave us more personality and quality. I want to say thank you to the club for signing these good players very early for us.

“I saw some players were tired and had to do something. Cucho is a very good player, a fantastic character and Kiko and Cleverley also. I had a very good team at my disposal.”

The Head Coach reflected positively on the afternoon overall, but noted areas to improve ahead of games against Burnley and Norwich City next week, demanding more from his players.

“I think we showed very good character, after we conceded the goal our reaction was much better. We have to show this from the beginning,” he explained.

“They understood when we were desperate we tried to combine more. These players can do more.

“I’m very happy because my players had very good combinations, but I want more from my players because I know what they can do. I am happy but it’s half and half.”

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