First Team 06/05/2019

Deeney & Mariappa: “We Want To Finish On A High”

Troy Deeney and Adrian Mariappa insist Watford will go all out against West Ham United on Sunday to secure a top half finish in the Premier League.

A win on the final day of the league campaign would see the Hornets extend their highest-ever Premier League points total and a place in the top half for the first time since the 1986/87 season.

The Golden Boys duo were quick to put Sunday’s defeat at Chelsea to bed, with the Hornets’ focus now switching to seeing-off the challenge of the Hammers, who sit a place and a point behind them in the table.

“We had a really good first half performance,” said Mariappa. “Kepa makes an unbelievable save – we thought it was in. He’s a quality keeper and he showed it.

“But to concede two set piece goals was really disappointing. Our performance was better than the result.

“We’ll train for next game as hard as we have all season. We have one game left and we are only focused on that.

“We want to get points and finish as high up the table as we can.”

Deeney, meanwhile, was left disappointed with once again not coming away with something to show for the Golden Boys’ efforts at the home of one of the ‘big six’.

With Watford facing title-challengers Manchester City at Wembley in the FA Cup final in 11 days’ time, the skipper is refusing to let the Hornets’ record against the top sides in the division affect him.

“It’s a tough one to take,” said the former Walsall man. “We should have got points in five or six games like Sunday.

“It’s new to us in terms of our position and the respect people are giving us.

“We don’t go into any game thinking we’ve lost. The cup final is a one-off occasion. We respect City, but we’ve earnt it. We are there on merit, and we are going there to win.”

First Team 06/05/2019

Chalobah: “I Left It All Out There”

Watch Nathaniel Chalobah's post-match interview above, or read on for his thoughts below.

If ever there was a day for mixed emotions it was today for Nathaniel Chalobah, who returned to his boyhood club to make his first league start in five months but ended up on the losing side.

The 24-year-old, who spent more than a decade rising through the ranks at Chelsea, was handed just his third league start of the campaign in place of the injured Étienne Capoue but left Stamford Bridge feeling the Hornets deserved more than their 3-0 loss.

“It was my first time coming back here since I left so it was a good moment for me in a way but obviously the result wasn’t what we could’ve got today and that’s more important than me coming back,” Chalobah said.

“It felt like we played very well in the first half and a bit of a lack of concentration killed the game for us. It’s a lesson learned for this season, we have to be very ruthless in both boxes.

“We played some good stuff, we had a game-plan and we executed it very well and we were a bit unfortunate not to put some of those chances in.

“We’re disappointed. The mood in the changing room wasn’t great but we have to dust ourselves off and go again.”

It was a useful hour or so for Chalobah, who has found game-time hard to come by in a Watford team who have been exceeding expectations all season.

“It’s been a very difficult year for me, coming in and out, but I just tried to give everything I can today,” said the England midfielder.

“I left it all out there and I blew up after about 50 minutes! It’s always difficult not playing games and that match fitness and sharpness is something you always lack when you don’t get that opportunity. 

“But what can I do, the boys been flying this year and you’ve got to look at it that way and keep going.”

When you’ve got Étienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucouré performing as well as they have this term, it’s always going to be tricky finding a way into Javi Gracia’s team.

“Those two have been phenomenal this year and you’ve got to put your hands up at the end of the day,” he conceded.

“There’s a lot of competition for places and the boys that aren’t playing every week are there battling every week and trying to make it hard for them, and that’s helped them keep their levels high.

“It’s a negative that you’re not playing, but a positive that the team are doing well and those players are flying. At the end of the day the team is the most important thing.

“Individual disappointment is something you’ve got to put aside sometimes and show your frustration in other ways, by coming in every day and grafting and trying to do as best as we can.”