First Team 04/04/2019

Holebas: “Football Is About Emotion”

José Holebas insists there is too much on the line at Wembley on Sunday to change his all-or-nothing approach.

The Greek defender picked up his 11th booking of the campaign in the closing stages of Watford’s eye-catching 4-1 home win over Fulham on Tuesday night when tangling with Ryan Sessegnon in the 90th minute.

Those cautions have, more often than not, come as a result of his committed and relentless playing style, which has earned the 34-year-old cult status among the Hornets faithful.

And Holebas is hoping that the Golden Boys can harness that same emotion and excitement when they face Wolves in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

“I am always like this,” he said. “Throughout my whole career already I have been like this.  

 “[Just because it is Wembley] why do you have to step back? I don’t get it. It’s just a yellow card. If I get 20, I get 20.

“If you make a tackle or you start moaning that is emotion, that is football. That is what we are living for.

So, is the former Olympiakos and Roma full-back excited at the opportunity of reaching just the second FA Cup final in Watford’s history?

“No.” Classic Holebas.

“Of course I am. All the boys are excited now – they’ve worked so hard for it, to come so far in the Cup.

“It is a special game for us. It’s very important for the boys, for the team and for the club.

“The team that puts the most work into their game and on the day will win this match.

“Every competition is important, you can achieve something in your career with it and everyone is thinking about having [the Cup] in their hand.”

The ex-Greece international has had to share Cup duties with fellow left-back Adam Masina this season, but featured in the previous two rounds against first QPR then Crystal Palace.

But Holebas is relaxed over Javi Gracia’s team selection, and knows that whoever is called upon will be ready to help the team.

“It is the coach’s decision,” he added. “He has got his own plan, he has to know what he does, and I think he does really well in this moment.

“To be honest, I like how it is right now. We are having a really good season so far.

“[Wolves] are also doing really well, but the team that puts the most in is going to win and the boys are really ready for the game on Sunday.

“The team is really focused, and especially for this game.”


Important information for supporters travelling to Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

First Team 04/04/2019

Doucouré: “Perfect Captain Deeney Gives Us Energy”

Abdoulaye Doucouré says Troy Deeney is the “perfect” striker to play with as Watford prepare themselves for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

The Hornets skipper has had a hand to nine goals in his past 13 ties in the famous club competition, scoring on five occasions including this season’s clash at Woking.

Deeney gives Doucouré the captain's armband as he leaves the field away at Burnley

Doucouré believes Deeney’s form in front of goal and his desire to succeed make him ideally placed to lead the Golden Boys as they bid to reach the FA Cup final for just the second time in the club’s history.

“I love to play with him because he gives a lot of energy to us, and the fans as well,” said the Frenchman. “He is a strong striker, and he has a lot of quality.

“Against him it is very hard to defend, because when he is in a good mood he can beat anyone. He can fight against everyone. He is very good this season and I am very happy to play with him. 

“He has made history with the club, he’s done a lot for Watford and he’s played a lot of games. He is a top scorer, and obviously the fans love him.

“He will be a legend when he finishes here and he deserves that.”

Deeney has been the Hornets’ skipper since being handed the armband in the summer of 2014 by then-manager Giuseppe Sannino, inspiring the side to promotion to the Premier League a year later.

Doucouré, who himself linked up with Watford initially in 2016, insists the former Walsall man remains a captain that leads by example.

“Of course, as a midfielder when you see your striker defending, tackling players, it is perfect for you,” he added. “After you see that you want to do the same like him, to give good energies.

“Troy is the perfect captain for this team.

“He can be very friendly with you or can be shouting at you if you do something wrong. But you can do it with him as well. He can accept it if you have a good reason and he’s a very good captain.”


Important information for supporters travelling to Wembley Stadium on Sunday.