Cleverley | “We Stood Up To The Challenge”
Watch Cleverley's post-match reaction - video free to view, no sign-up required.
Tom Cleverley was pleased with Watford’s hard-fought draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, seeing it as one point gained rather than two points dropped.
The Hornets started the brighter of the two sides and led through Christian Kabasele’s second goal of the season inside 13 minutes, but it didn’t take Spurs long to equalise, with Son Heung-min scoring for the visitors after 25 minutes.
Despite Davinson Sanchez’s red card, Abdoulaye Doucoure’s thunderous drive off the post and a very late penalty shout, Cleverley felt the Golden Boys should be pleased with a point against a very good Tottenham side.
“I think the feeling is it’s a point gained. It’s a very good Spurs team and even though they went down to 10 men they were always dangerous on the counter-attack," he said after full-time.
“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t win the game, but a point against a really good Spurs team isn’t the worst result.”
It was a feisty game at Vicarage Road, with one sending off and a further five yellow cards shown, and it was a battle that the former England international had expected.
“They put us under good pressure. They’re a high-pressure team but you’ve got to be physical. They’re all quick and strong and I thought we stood up to the challenge,” said Cleverley.
Watford will face another battle this coming weekend as they travel to Sean Dyche’s high-flying Burnley. The Clarets have been upsetting the odds all season, currently sitting seventh in the Premier League, and Turf Moor is a notoriously difficult ground to visit for away sides.
The Hornets have been upsetting the odds themselves too, particularly away from home, with impressive victories at Bournemouth, Southampton, Swansea and Newcastle, and it is this kind of away form that gives Cleverley and his teammates some inspiration going into Saturday’s fixture.
“There’s plenty of positives. I think we’ll take confidence from how good we’ve been on the road this year,” he said.
“We’d obviously like to get more home wins but I think our away form is really pleasing and we’re confident on the road.”
Watford continued to battle for a winner right until the death on Saturday, and Cleverley feels the fitness and depth evident in Marco Silva's side this season bodes well for what is a busy Christmas period, with seven Premier League games to play in the next month.
“I think especially at home we’re really feeling strong towards the end of games, we feel on the front-foot,” he said.
“It was the same the other night [against Manchester United] and we’ve got a really fit team now. I think on the stats we’re right up there and we feel like we can keep going for the win right until the very end.”