First Team 20/04/2019

Deulofeu: “Making The Fans Smile Is A Pleasure For Me”

Watch Deulofeu's post-match interview above, or read on below.

Lightning doesn’t strike twice but when Gerard Deulofeu’s on the pitch magic does.

The Spaniard opened the scoring at Huddersfield – his first of two at the John Smith’s Stadium – with a goal that bore more than a passing resemblance to the one that stunned Wolves at Wembley a fortnight ago.

Granted, it wasn’t quite as spectacular as the stunner that sparked a dramatic comeback in the FA Cup semi-final, but it was still executed from the tightest of angles and in any ordinary season would be up there in the mix for Goal of the Season.

Speaking to after the Hornets’ 2-1 win, Deulofeu said: “Today was not the same, the semi-final goal was more beautiful but today was really good also.

“I want to help the team and scoring goals is the best way. Now I have to keep going, and if I have to score all the goals like this then for me no problem!”

That’s 11 for the season now, and six in his last five Premier League away games, and Deulofeu credits his much improved goalscoring record to playing further up the pitch.

“The difference is I’m playing as a striker,” he said.

“This is my first season playing up front and it’s 11 goals but it could be more because in the first period of the season I missed a lot of chances, so it could be 15 or more.

“I’m happy playing nearer to the goal and that’s the reason why I’m scoring more goals.”

The magic man was once again serenaded by Watford’s jubilant travelling supporters and Deulofeu was thrilled to see a sea of happy faces in the away end at full-time.

“I’m so proud they sing my song, I’m so happy,” he said.

“My work is like this, scoring goals to help the team, and if I can make the fans smile it’s a pleasure for me.”

First Team 20/04/2019

Gracia: “Deulofeu Is Scoring Important Goals”

Watch Javi Gracia's post-match interview above, or read on below.

By Kevin Affleck

Javi Gracia is always preaching how the whole is greater than the sum of its individual and it’s a maxim that has served the team so well this season, but he could do little else other than praise Gerard Deulofeu after the Spaniard won the game at Huddersfield with another pair of goals.

In his first appearance since he turned the FA Cup semi-final with Wolves on its head, Deulofeu threaded the opener into the far corner after just five minutes and then made the game safe ten minutes from time with his 11th of the season. He now has eight in his last nine games.

“He’s scoring important goals,” said Gracia, “very good goals. All goals are good for me, but in this this moment Gerard is scoring and living in an important moment for him and the team. Even when he didn’t score, he is showing a good commitment for the club and trying to help the team.”

The first goal was crucial as it knocked the stuffing out of Huddersfield, andsmeant the Terriers had to come at the Hornets and allowed the visitors to play their favoured counter-attacking game.

“In that moment, it was good for us,” said Gracia. “We had control, we didn’t suffer and we had the possession. We had that goal and were then trying to score the second one. Gerard shows his quality with the goal.”

Deulofeu has always had the ability – you don't play for Barcelona and AC Milan without having something about you – but Gracia is now getting him to realise his part in the team and the importance of doing the ugly side of the game.

“We all have many things to improve and it is my job to try and help them improve,” said Gracia. “Speaking about Gerard, he has played in different positions, in different shapes and is an important player for us. He gets recognition when he scores goals, but in my opinion he is always doing a good job for the team.”

Jan Siewert, the Huddersfield coach, did his homework on Deulofeu in the week but forewarned doesn’t necessarily mean you are always forearmed.

“He is a great player,” said Siewert. “When I was working at the German FA and we played against Spain, I knew what a threat he was. He was hard to defend against when he was a young player and it is even harder now he is older. It is great to for Gracia to have a player like this in his squad.”