Deeney: “Andre Did What He Does”
Watch post-match reaction with Troy Deeney and Andre Gray above, or read on below.
Watford skipper Troy Deeney hailed the impact of fellow frontman Andre Gray after the club-record signing stepped off the bench to help the Hornets crush Fulham.
The former Burnley man had netted three winners off the bench in his past three home games against Everton, Leicester City and Crystal Palace, yet still had to settle for a place among the substitutes against the Cottagers.
With the game poised at 1-1 at the break – Ryan Babel cancelling out Abdoulaye Doucouré’s thunderous opener – Gray was introduced at the start of the second half.
And after Will Hughes scored a Goal of the Season contender to put Watford back in front, Gray set up first Deeney then Kiko Femenía to wrap up a stunning 4-1 victory at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets skipper was quick to pay tribute to his fellow striker and the rest of the Golden Boys, who eclipsed their previous record points tally - 45 - in the Premier League with the win.
“The first half was really sloppy,” admitted the skipper. “But in the second, we went back to the basics that we have built this team on. And the big man [Gray] came on and did what he does.
“If Andre keeps doing what he’s been doing, eventually the cries from everyone will get him in the team.
“From the outside, people might think it is luck that has got us where we are but gaining 46 points is a milestone for us.
“We were probably one of the favourites for relegation before the season started but maybe those who said things like that are starting to show us a bit more respect because are proving we are a good side.”
Gray, meanwhile, was pleased to be able to once again make an impact off the bench.
The 27-year-old injected plenty of energy into a Watford attack feeling the effects of the effort they had put in to outplay Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Gray was a constant menace to the Fulham rearguard, wriggling free on 69 minutes to squeeze a cross that fell perfectly for Deeney to side-foot past Sergio Rico.
Another such cross helped Femenía smash home his first of the campaign.
“All I can do is come on and try to change the game,” said Gray. “It has been frustrating [not starting] but I want to help the team when they’re suffering.
“I felt we looked a bit tired in the first half. We played really well against Manchester United but it took a lot out of us. At times, Fulham had too much of the ball.
“In the second half, we were a bit more direct and attacking. The key was that we kept pushing – we didn’t want to sit back and hold on to what we had.”