First Team 01/12/2019

Capoue: “We Have Some Big Weeks Coming”

After a frustrating finale at Southampton, Étienne Capoue thanked the travelling Watford fans for their vocal support and claimed the Hornets can find a way out of their predicament if all associated with the club stick together.

“Today there was a great atmosphere with the supporters. The fans did so well. We could hear them all through the game,” said the Frenchman, speaking after a 2-1 defeat at St Mary’s left Watford rooted to the bottom of the table.

“We didn’t get three points for us, for them, for the club, so we are very frustrated for the club today.

“We have to believe. We need the fans behind us, to believe as well, because we can do it and everyone is on the same page. We really need everybody on board to make it.”

Ismaïla Sarr’s first-half opener looked to have set Watford on course for a second Premier League win of the season, but a contentious Danny Ings equaliser and James Ward-Prowse’s late free-kick turned the tables.

“We are very frustrated tonight. We did a very good first half but we couldn’t hold it for another 45 minutes so we are disappointed,” said Capoue.

“We started very well so we knew we had the capacity and the ability to win the game. Now we need to be more confident in the second half and to be together.

“The spirit is good and we have another game on Wednesday so we need to get three points.”

It’s in-form Leicester next at the King Power Stadium, the first of seven fixtures between now and New Year’s Day.

“We have some big weeks coming because December and January are very tough so we need to be together and play as a team,” said Capoue.

“Everyone is on the same page, that’s the most important thing for us, and we really want to stay in the Premier League.

“We are only at the end of November so we need to be very positive to get the points as soon as possible.”

First Team 30/11/2019

It's A Varce: Hughes Reaction

Will Hughes did not want to make excuses after two late goals led to defeat at St Mary’s, but said it was “really frustrating” that VAR had once again failed to rule out an equalising goal against the Hornets.

“We felt comfortable and I think we were controlling the game, whether that was with the ball or without the ball,” said the midfielder. “I’ve only seen their first goal back just then and it’s so frustrating. When I was watching it I didn’t think it came off his hand but when you watch it back [it does].

“If we’re going to have VAR it has to be consistent. The rules we know are if it’s intentional or unintentional handball it’s a free-kick and that’s the third decision which has gone against us this season which has cost us points. We’re not making excuses but that’s the reason VAR is in the Premier League and you have to be better.”

Hughes knows the result was not completely dependent on the missed handball and does not want to hide from the team’s shortcomings, but felt the decision had an impact on the result.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get the decision, that’s what it’s there for and having watched it back it’s clearly not intentional, but the rule is if it hits your hand it’s a free-kick,” he said. “It’s as clear as day that it’s hit his hand and it’s frustrating because we’re 1-0 up at that stage and comfortable and think we are going to win the game.

“We made mistakes ourselves, so we hold our hands up with that. When these things are going against you as well, it’s really frustrating. But it’s our doing as well, we could have perhaps scored earlier to make it 2-0 and killed the game off. So we have to look at ourselves as well.”

In the Premier League key decisions or small mistakes can be the difference, and the 24-year-old is well aware.

“I thought it was a game of fine margins and unfortunately we haven’t been doing as well this season,” he said. “But we’re still working hard. The spirit is good in the camp, although we’re bottom of the table, we’ve just got to kick on and keep fighting.

“There’s a long way to go. We’re under no illusions and there’s a reason we’re bottom of the league, so something needs to change on the pitch. We’ve clearly not been good enough, so we need to take a look at ourselves and work that out.

“They’re all big games now, whether that’s against the top of the league or the bottom of the league, we’ve got to be ready for it. We’ve got the players in the squad to turn it around so that’s what we have to do.”