Hughes: “It's A Lot Harder Than It Looks!”
Watch the full interview with Will Hughes, via the Hornets' official YouTube channel, or read on for his thoughts after scoring against Burnley.
Will Hughes got his third goal in Watford colours, and the Hornets' third of the afternoon at Turf Moor, as the Golden Boys defeated Burnley - a side usually so strong at home - to win on the road for the first time since November.
The former England youth international was pleased to put some bad records to bed, and with the manner of the win in a real team performance in Lancashire.
“I think it was Newcastle - our last away win. We know by our standards it's not been good enough,” said Hughes. “It was something we'd looked to improve on this year, and thankfully we've started early on.
“Coming to any away team in the Premier League is difficult, but especially Burnley.
“Not a lot of teams come here and pick up points, so thankfully we've caught them when they are a bit tired after the Europa League, and we took advantage of that.”
That a good overall display was capped with a goal made it all the sweeter for Hughes, who admits it's an area of his game he's been working on.
“It's something I've talked about a lot over the last few years - scoring more goals,” said the midfielder. “Thankfully I've got off the mark early on, and I'll try and carry that on throughout the season - but it's a lot harder than it looks!”
Hughes was in the thick of the action throughout, including a challenge in front of the dugouts Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt merited a red card.
“It was nothing like that,” explained the Hornets' third goalscorer. “I think the ball might have already gone off but all I did was try to make a block tackle.
“I'm not complaining about the yellow card but that's the most it was.”
As is often the way with Hughes, he's keen to talk about the collective rather than the individual.
“Scoring early on but conceding straight after that was a bit of a blow,” he said. “But, I think it shows a sign of the mentality in the team.
“Then at half-time they are probably looking for the win, their fans are expecting it, but scoring two early goals [in the second half] I think shows a lot of character in the team.”
And part of that mental strength is not getting too high when you win, or too low when you lose, and not looking any further than the next game - a message that comes from Head Coach Javi Gracia.
“We know it's early doors,” said Hughes. “There's a long way to go - another 36 games.
“Look, we're not getting ahead of ourselves - we'll take it one game at a a time and we're looking to the next game now against Crystal Palace on Sunday.”
Hughes is keen to strengthen the connection between the pitch and the stands, felt so keenly in the first game against Brighton & Hove Albion at The Vic.
“We want the fans to get behind us at Vicarage Road and try and make it into a bit of a fortress this year, with their support,” said the Englishman. “So, we'll go into the Palace game full of confidence, but not complacency.
“It's always nice to pick up a victory for the fans, they've travelled a long way - on a Sunday as well, which isn't ideal for some of them - but it's nice to send them home happy.”