First Team 06/11/2018

Gallery: Newcastle United v Watford

See an alternative view of Newcastle United v Watford, November 3, 2018.



Under-23's 05/11/2018

U23 Report & Reaction: Colchester 2-3 Watford

By Kevin Affleck

Hayden Mullins knows a good midfield player when he sees one and he reckons Watford have got a real promising one on their hands in Dan Phillips after the powerful teenager struck the winner for the Under-23s against Colchester.

The emergence of Phillips has been one of the real plus points of the season so far and the 17-year-old showed he can grab the glory as well as do the dirty work at the Community Stadium on Monday. The Professional Development League game was heading for a 2-2 draw until he showed a late burst of energy to surge into the box and collect a pass from Michael Folivi, crashing in the winner with seven minutes remaining. It was fitting he got the decisive goal as he was the best player on the field.

“He is progressing really well,” said Mullins. “He’s put in some fantastic performances and he’s developing into a real combative midfielder. He can put his foot in, he uses his body well and uses the ball well.

“His goal showed his fitness coming to the fore, but he did that earlier in the game by winning the ball high up the pitch. He’s done well tonight and he's coming on nicely. He’s now adding goals to his game too.”

Mullins played at the top level of the game for Crystal Palace and West Ham and can be the perfect mentor for Phillips, passing on the tricks of the midfield trade.

“He just needs to work on his shape when we haven’t got the ball and screen the back four, but he’s a real productive player in there and doing really well,” said Mullins.

The Hornets were smarting after the 6-2 defeat to QPR last time out and the coaching staff demanded a response. They got one, with the Hornets coming from a goal down to win 3-2. Ryan Cassidy got the equaliser with his fourth of the season and then Harry Forster put the Hornets 2-1 in front with a lovely finish into the far corner.

“It’s development football and part of their development is about digging in when it got a bit tough and seeing the game out,” said Mullins. “You don’t want to get too bogged down with results, but it was a good way to bounce back with a positive result.

“For large periods we looked confident and like we had a point to prove. We said the players didn’t really need a teamtalk today after last week and we didn’t say much. We just asked them to go out, be positive and do what they have been doing on the training pitch.

“A big part of the development is how to bounce back from setbacks and we stayed in the game at 1-0 down, stuck to our gameplan and kept doing what we’d asked them to do. There were quite a few pleasing bits tonight, like their attitude, their character to come back from a goal down and win the game.”

HORNETS | Howes; Eleftheriou, Leighton, Mukena, Zeegelaar; Holsgrove (Gordon 80), Charles (C), Phillips, Forster; Cassidy (Bennetts 89), Folivi.

Subs not used: Hudson, Baptiste (GK), Sankoh.