Foster: “We Have Momentum Now”
Ben Foster thinks the team's upturn in results is testament to a change in mentality driven by Head Coach Nigel Pearson, but insists the job is far from done with plenty of games still to play – starting with Saturday's clash with Tottenham Hotspur at Vicarage Road.
“We're out of the bottom three but we're not thinking like that, we've done nothing yet. We had a very poor start and we've just got ourselves back into contention. The gaffer is not letting anyone rest on their laurels,” said the goalkeeper.
“We knew we had the talent but we lost our grit and will to win. There's a fine line between properly putting work in and just putting work in, and that’s the difference between staying up and going down.
“It’s been a complete 360 degree turnaround, we have momentum now. For example, we probably would have lost the Wolves game earlier in season, but everybody pulled together and we saw the game out.”
The talent in this Hornets squad was never in doubt, with the Golden Boys finishing 11th in the Premier League and reaching an FA Cup final last season, but Foster knows how important having the right frame of mind is at this level too.
“The mental side of the game is half the battle for me, if you are struggling it affects how you perform on the pitch,” he said.
“My wife was a psychologist, which was brilliant for me. You've got to be open and honest. We also had [sports psychologist] Keith Mincher here when I first joined Watford all those years ago [in 2005-07] and I still speak to him now.
“You've got to be comfortable in your own skin and not try to be someone else. Be yourself. Do it naturally on the training pitch and almost autopilot on a matchday in front of 50,000 people. If you start thinking about it too much then you're in trouble.”
There have been lows this season and more recently there have been highs. No doubt there will be more of both, and Foster knows it is important for each member of the team to keep a level head so they can stay in control of their own form.
“I'm having a good time, with my age and experience I understand there will be ups and downs but you've got to try and stay on the even keel. I don't get too carried away personally, I need to help pull people back up if we lose as an experienced player,” said the 36-year-old.
“You learn as you go, you learn from your mistakes and they're all life lessons. You go through peaks and troughs in football. There is an element of making your own luck, by working hard and keeping on pushing yourself, and that's what I do.”