First Team 31/03/2019

Foster: “We Need To Believe In Ourselves More”

Ben Foster knows a thing or two about top sides – he’s played for Manchester United and represented England at a World Cup after all – so it’s worth listening in when he says the Hornets’ players must believe in their qualities more than they currently do.
 
There won’t be many teams who go away from Old Trafford with a 20-8 shot tally in their favour and despite ultimately losing 2-1, the goalkeeper believes his teammates need only look at the manner of their performance on Saturday – and countless more over the course of the season – to see just how good they can be.
 
“Sometimes I think we actually need to believe in ourselves a bit more. We have so many quality players here and I don’t think they understand that we’re a really, really good team,” said Foster.
 
“We were really good against United. We played some lovely stuff but probably just lacked that little bit of quality at the crunch time.
 
“At times we were trying to walk it into the goal when maybe we should’ve put it in the box for Troy [Deeney] a bit more than we did, but there’s so much for us to be pleased about after a performance like that.”

Barring the two all-important goals and a couple of chances here and there, Watford largely kept their hosts quiet at the other end too. But Foster concedes United’s clinical edge was the difference.
 
“To be honest it was one of my quieter afternoons. There wasn’t that much for me to do and I found myself watching on as a spectator for large parts of the game,” he added.
 
“Credit to United though, they didn’t have many big chances but when it came down to the nitty gritty they took their chances and that’s what we needed to do.”

Fulham visit The Vic on Tuesday, followed by the FA Cup semi-final with Wolves on Sunday, and Foster admits it’s going to be an exciting week for the Hornets.
 
“This is a really important time for us. We’ve had such a good season so far but we need to keep it going now,” he said.
 
“We want to finish in seventh or eighth so to do that we need to keep picking up points, starting with the game against Fulham.
 
“Hopefully we can get back to winning ways on Tuesday and then we’ll start thinking about the cup semi-final on Sunday.”

First Team 31/03/2019

Deeney: “We Controlled The Game”

Troy Deeney insists Watford are “past the learning curve” of trips to places like Old Trafford after an eye-catching performance against Manchester United went unrewarded on Saturday.

The Hornets immediately set out their stall against Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men on their own patch, with Abdoulaye Doucouré, Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu all squandering early chances.

Despite dominating United – Watford had 20 attempts to the Red Devils’ eight – they were undone by goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. 

And while Doucouré pulled one back late on, the Golden Boys were left frustrated that a terrific performance left them empty-handed.

For Deeney, it shows just how far the club has come that they now feel aggrieved at leaving a stadium like Old Trafford without reward.

“Of course we feel disappointed we have not got more from the game,” he said. “I am past the whole ‘learning curve’ and ‘we’re grateful to play here’ kind of thing – we deserved to win. 

“We should have definitely taken something from the game. We created 20 chances at Old Trafford and not many teams will do that. 

“It is about growing. You look at where we have come in the last three years and it is monumental. We are a completely different outfit and we are being taken seriously by teams. 

“This club will continue to grow long after me and the lads have been and gone. You want to be part of something and we have set the ball rolling. For myself, starting when we were in the low levels of the Championship to now be in the upper echelons of the Premier League, we are doing that. 

“We also have the depth in the squad to make changes like we did today, still compete and give a good account of ourselves. 

“The frustrating part is the stats – they will say that we don’t do too well against the top six but the performances suggest otherwise. 

“If you showed the game to the average person on the street who didn’t know who the two teams were, they would say we looked like Man United in the sense of how we controlled the game.”

However, there is little time for Javi Gracia’s men to feel sorry for themselves. Fulham visit Vicarage Road on Tuesday night before Watford head to Wembley to try and book a place in this season’s FA Cup final at the expense of Wolves.

Deeney insists his teammates have their focus solely on the Cottagers before any thoughts of the “razzmatazz” associated with a cup semi-final.

“We won’t sit there and moan [after Saturday],” he added. “We have a big week coming up and we can go back to seventh on Tuesday if we can beat Fulham. If we do that, everyone starts talking about what a great season it has been again. 

“We have only got to look at Tuesday. Nothing other than a win in that game really matters. If we play horrible and win 1-0, I don’t really care. 

“Soon as that game is out the way, then it is all about the build-up and the razzmatazz ahead of Wembley. We knew this week would be tough but we are ready to go.”