First Team 2 weeks ago

Highlights: Watford 0-0 Bournemouth

Watch extended highlights of Watford's goalless draw with Bournemouth in the Premier League.

First Team 2 weeks ago

Kabasele: “We Need To Keep Going”

Christian Kabasele confirmed his standing as the linchpin of this reorganised and resolute defence with another commanding display on Saturday.

The Belgian made a staggering 15 clearances out of a team total of 54 against Tottenham Hotspur the previous week and he followed that up with another all-action performance against Bournemouth.

He made a terrific recovery tackle on Arnaut Danjuma, a perceptive intervention on Callum Wilson, made several key headers near the end and showed the other side of his game with two cross-field passes in quick succession to Adam Masina in the first half that Étienne Capoue would have been proud of. Kabasele was not particularly interested in dwelling on his role in a second clean sheet in three games, though. He wanted instead to talk about the collective defensive effort and the whether it was two points dropped.

“It was quite a 50-50 game,” he told our post-match show, Added Time. “They had chances, we had chances, most of them in the first half. But we can't be disappointed because now we start to be more solid at the back. Before the game we really thought today was the day [we were going to win]. Everybody was disappointed after the game because there was a chance to win the game.

“We need to keep going as we are going to enter a very important part of the season with a lot of games against direct opponents for relegation. We just keep believing in ourselves. The win is really, really close. We will not give up.”

Kabasele is testament to the never-say-die spirit that will be required. He had an afternoon to forget in this fixture last season, conceding a penalty and being sent off before half-time in a 4-0 defeat. He only played 13 times in the league after that but he has bounced back this season and looks at home on the right of a new-look back three that has conceded just once in 270 minutes.

“It's a change of formation, simple as that,” he said. “With four at the back we were conceding too much space and now with that extra player we cover more spaces and we can see the opponents has difficulties to find the space in our defence. We need to keep going like this and start to be more clinical up front.”

Fashioning shots at goal is not the problem, as Quique Sánchez Flores pointed out afterwards. The Hornets are averaging nearly 13 shots a game this season. It's just a matter of converting them.

“It's up to us to find the right balance,” said Kabasele. “We can score, we saw it against Arsenal and Tottenham. It's just a question of being more clinical – and not just the strikers, the whole team. We have not scored as a unit and we need to be more precise in the final third of the pitch. When Troy comes back and others we will have more strength to injure the opponent. When Troy is back we will have this power up front.”

Nobody cares more about this club than Deeney, but Kabasele showed just how much the team's position is getting to him. 

“We are last in the league and it's really painful,” he said. “We have a lot of qualities in the squad it's unacceptable to be last in the league. It's our fault and we need to put things right as soon possible.”