First Team 16/04/2019

Cathcart: “Our Reaction Showed What Sort Of Team We Are”

Craig Cathcart is convinced the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Monday night will have little effect on Watford’s confidence. 

The Hornets were in buoyant mood when they welcomed the Gunners to Vicarage Road. In their previous league outing on their own patch they had rattled four past Fulham and had then produced a stunning comeback to edge Wolves at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals.

And they made a positive start against Unai Emery’s men, zipping the ball around and playing on the front foot.

But the wind was taken out of Watford sails on 10 minutes when an uncharacteristic mistake from Ben Foster allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score the game’s only goal.

Just 60 seconds later, Troy Deeney was sent off for a coming together with Lucas Torreira. 

But despite those two set-backs, Javi Gracia’s side piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser – Cathcart and Adam Masina both hit the woodwork while Andre Gray was denied by Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ decisive intervention.

“I don’t think this will effect us at all,” reflected Cathcart. “We’ve put in a great performance given the way things went in the first 15 minutes. 

“We can be proud of how we played. It was difficult and we had to run a lot but we can be very proud of ourselves.

“We had 10 men but if anything it looked like they had the 10 men. We had more possession, we had decent opportunities to score and we’re really disappointed coming off the pitch with nothing from the game. 

“We knew if we stayed in it for as long as we could we’d get chances towards the end. We were a little bit more aggressive, we tried to press a bit higher and take a few more risks but we were really unlucky and disappointed not to come away with a result.”

Hornets keeper Foster admitted after the game that he apologised to his teammates for the error that allowed Arsenal to score the game’s winner.

However, defender Cathcart insisted there was no need for the former England glovesman to do so and hailed his mental strength to bounce back and make a vital save from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

“It’s just one of those things,” he added. “It happens now and again, people make mistakes. 

“Ben showed a great recovery from it. He made a great save to keep us in the game towards the end. He won’t think too much about it and he’ll move on. He’s an experienced player.”

First Team 15/04/2019

Foster: “We Can Take A Lot Of Heart”

Ben Foster insists Watford can take a “lot of heart” from the “magnificent” performance they delivered against Arsenal despite a 1-0 defeat at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets’ keeper was caught in possession by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the Gunners’ winner after just 10 minutes.

And when Troy Deeney was shown a straight red card for a coming together with Lucas Torreira just 60 seconds later, it looked like a tall order for the hosts.

But Craig Cathcart struck the post via the body of Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno, Adam Masina struck the crossbar with a thunderous effort from range and Andre Gray was denied a certain goal by a vital block by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

“I’m gutted for the lads,” admitted Foster. “I thought we were the better team. Arsenal seemed happy to play on the counter attack.

“I’ve said sorry to the lads after the game and I want to say sorry to the fans. I should have Cruyffed him.

“Aubameyang is rapid. He is so fast and was too quick for me. With hindsight, when you have got players like him then you have got to get rid quick even if it goes into row Z.. They can’t score from row Z.

“It is a lesson learned for me. Next time I’ll put my boot through it.

“Things happen in football. But we are a team. We win as a team, we lose as a team.

“We can take a lot of heart from that performance because I thought we were magnificent.”