First Team 02/04/2018

Cathcart | “A Great Feeling”

He's been waiting since August, but Craig Cathcart's return to Premier League action finally came about when introduced as a substitute during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.

The Northern Ireland international returned from injury to make his 100th appearance in Watford colours, and afterwards he caught up with the cameras.

Watch the full interview above - free to view, no sign-up required.

First Team 01/04/2018

Gracia | “I Feel Proud Of My Players”

Watch Gracia's post-match interview above - free to view, no sign-up required.

Javi Gracia felt there was much to admire about so much of Watford's performance against Bournemouth yesterday afternoon and was gutted to see all their hard work undone by a lack of application and concentration at the death.

The Hornets looked good value for the league double over Bournemouth, playing much better than they did against Everton and West Brom, and looked poised to celebrate a fourth straight home win until Jermain Defoe struck late and so cruelly at the death.

The equalising goal was particularly hard to take as it came from nothing more than a hopeful free-kick into the box, one that should have been meat and drink to Watford's otherwise excellent defensive unit.

"I can be disappointed with the result because we have lost two points in extra-time, but I feel proud of the players," said Gracia.

"We were twice up on the score and we tried until the end, but the other team scored in extra-time. What I can say is I feel proud of my players because today we had a good performance and maybe we deserved the three points." 

Defoe's goal, which arrived from a Nathan Ake knockdown, was particularly difficult for Gracia to stomach as he had warned his players in the week about the Cherries' prowess from set-pieces.

"We need to improve many things," he said.

"Today we had different chances to score more goals, but the other team is a well-organised team. They have scored a lot of goals this season from set pieces and 14 before this game, seven of them from corner kicks. We know they are dangerous from this situation."

The fans were up in arms about the award of the free-kick that led to the equaliser, believing Stefano Okaka barely touched his man.

"If the referee says it is a foul, then it's a foul," said Gracia.

"I don't say anymore. But after that long pass, there is a first challenge and then a second challenge and we need to improve in that situation. It is our responsibility to defend better. We need to improve in that situation. We try to win the first challenge and after that there is a second challenge in the box. We didn't defend in the best way."

Gracia said he didn't have a very good view of the Josè Holebas handball that led to the first equaliser.

"I thought we had control of the situation, but I didn't see the action yet," he said.

What Gracia did have a good view of was the performance of Will Hughes, who was a bright spark throughout on his first start since November.

"He played well but I am happy with all the team, not only Will," he said. "It is not easy playing your first game for the team for a while, but now we have important players coming back. We have more options. It's the best news for the team."

Gracia was again bold in his substitutions, but he revealed he took off Kiko Femenía and Sebastian Prödl as a precaution.

"Sebastian felt pain after games with the national team and Kiko as well. They felt pain in their legs," he confirmed.

The point moved Watford up to 37 points and just three away from the perceived sanctuary of 40.

"I'm not sure how many points we need to remain in the Premier League," said Gracia.

"I am only sure we need more points in this moment. There are six games left and we try to get more points to do our best. This moment we are only concentrated on the next game, trying to enjoy with our fans and doing our best."