First Team 03/11/2019

Foster: “We Can Work Our Way Through This”

Ben Foster admitted the Hornets were not at their best against Chelsea, but said he can tell they are not far off and will be able to work through this tough patch as a team.

The goalkeeper kept his team in the game with a series of excellent saves and almost salvaged a point at the death when he went up for a free-kick, but agonisingly saw his header tipped wide by Kepa.

“To get a draw would have been an unbelievable turnaround,” he said, speaking to Added Time. “It was a really good save. I’ve never scored, and this was the closest I've ever come. Fair play to Kepa, it was a really good save. I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best.”

Foster said the team knew what threat the Blues could pose, but he was disappointed that a slow start meant they gave themselves a mountain to climb.

“Chelsea are a good team and their away record speaks for itself. They’ve beaten a lot of teams better than us,” said the goalkeeper.

“The manager said they will run free if you let them and we didn't shut the gate and box them down enough today, so we should be disappointed.

“We weren’t at our best today, I'll be honest. We're close, we know it and we believe it's not far away. We didn't get started until 2-0 down. We can't let ourselves get one or two down before getting competitive.”

Turning this situation around won’t be easy and Foster is well aware, but the experienced pro said he has seen enough to know this group is capable.

“We’ve got some talented players and we’ve switched formation of late. We’ve got the players to unlock teams. Once we get our first win under belt, we can push on,” he said.

“There's no God given right to stay in league. From what I can see we will work our way through this.”

First Team 02/11/2019

Sánchez Flores: “We're Trying To Create Positive Energy”

By Kevin Affleck

Quique Sánchez Flores wants his side to produce more of the "positive moments" on a consistent basis if they are to secure that all-important first league win of the season.

The Hornets had a right go at the end of the first half and another stab in the last 10 minutes to give Chelsea a run for their money and come within a whisker of a draw via what would have been a sensational equaliser from Ben Foster.

As it was, it was another game that ticked by without a win but Sánchez Flores wants to package up the good things from the game, take them with him to Norwich and see more of them.

"We have positives, we are able to do good things but this does not happen for a full match," he said. "It’s tough for the players but we need to go for the positive moments and make more of them. Some bits we can take as positives. When we concede so early it is hard for us but we kept in it.

"We're working hard. We are trying to create positive energy in the stadium. Chelsea were better than us but we had the last chance to take a point. We need to be taking these things if we want to build something. We need to get in good habits."

The team's confidence is fragile and the worst possible thing to have happened was the concession of an early goal, meaning the game plan went out the window.  

"We know that it's a really tough situation, really hard," said Sánchez Flores. "Players lose confidence when we lose a goal in the first five minutes and we then tried to recuperate good feelings. We need to try to solve this situation. A good result will sort this. We are trying to do many things in the best way."

Sánchez Flores made three substitutions, the third of which saw Kiko Femenía replace Daryl Janmaat. The other option was Isaac Success but he only returned to full training in the latter part of this week.

"I understand the reaction of the fans, of course, because they are frustrated like we are," he said.  "I would like to make every single change that the fans would love but we won't always agree. Let's make sure there is always the positive energy for them that we get at the start of the games. The players have to create these moments for themselves of course, but everyone can help."

The Head Coach reported that Craig Cathcart went off with a back spasm and that his 'keeper "was very good" but he was not happy with "the chances we gave away."

"The first goal we are not completely happy with," he said. "We know Abraham is making this kind of move and we have three defenders. In the second half we are able to counter this run. It was an easy chance for them, the first goal. The second goal, they have good players and they are able to make us suffer more than we wanted."