First Team 20/11/2017

Hughes | “To Score Is A Nice Feeling”

Man of the Match Will Hughes started his first game at Vicarage Road on Sunday and it won’t be one the young midfielder will forget in a hurry, as Watford ran out 2-0 winners against West Ham. The summer signing from Derby capped his performance with his first goal and assist for the club.

The goal came in the 11th minute and was Hughes’ first shot in the Premier League and is a culmination of all the hard work he has put in since he joined the Hornets.

“Just to get games is a start for me but to score as well is a nice feeling. We deserved the three points in the end.” Hughes said.

“Anything on target would have done me, luckily it went in. I think it was my first touch in the game so I’ll take that.”

Shortly after scoring Watford had their goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to thank for keeping the sides level. Despite dominating possession, it was the heroics of the Brazilian stopper that kept the hosts ahead going into the break, something that Hughes was keen to reiterate.

“The first goal settled us down a bit and then we have to thank Gomes for keeping us in the game in the first half, that could have been a game changer.

“As the game went on we became more comfortable and luckily killed it off with a second.”

That second goal came through Richarlison, with Hughes picking up his first assist of the campaign. It came at an important time, Hughes commenting that despite being the dominant side, at 1-0 you are always vulnerable.

“You can play well for 90 minutes and dominate the game at 1-0, but the other team will always be in with a shout so that second goal was massive.” He said.

Watford started the season in fine form, losing just one of their opening eight games. However prior to Sunday, recent results had not been so kind, losing to Chelsea, Stoke and Everton. Hughes was involved in two of those three and explained how the belief of the squad was a constant throughout a tough spell. 

“We had an amazing start to the season, got 15 points very early on but as everyone knows we’ve struggled recently with results, although the performances have been there. We said before the game if we maintain our performance we’ll get something out of it and that paid dividends in the end.”

The result has lifted Watford to eighth in the table and they now travel to Newcastle United this Saturday.




U23 Report | Coventry 2-1 Watford

Michael Folivi scored on his return to Coventry this afternoon but Watford’s Under-23 side conceded two second-half goals to crash to a disappointing Premier Development League defeat in the Midlands.
Folivi would have been keen to make his mark at a place where he spent time on loan last season and he did just that after 15 minutes, cutting inside from the left, before steadying himself to fire past Sam Naylor in the Coventry goal. It was his third goal in as many games.
Hayden Mullins’ team had only lost once when Folivi had scored in the league this season, so the omens looked good, especially when the Hornets got to the break in front and in control. Nathan Gartside’s goal was rarely threatened and when it was, Andrew Eleftheriou and Max Ryan threw themselves bravely in front of shots.
So it therefore came as a bolt from the blue when, seven minutes after the restart, Kyle Finn glanced in a header from a Jak Hickman free-kick. It was now game on.
The pace of Randell Williams, Dion Pereira and Folivi meant Watford were always a threat in behind, a fact not lost on Coventry who picked up bookings in quick succession for fouls on Williams and Pereira, halting promising moves by the visitors.
Pereira did manage to wriggle free of his marker just past the hour, swivelling like Will Hughes did against West Ham to produce a snapshot that was bound for the roof of the net until Naylor stuck out a big left-hand and deflect the ball wide for a corner. Pereira couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored.
It proved to be the decisive moment of the game as ten minutes later, Coventry got their noses in front and that is where they stayed, Jack Burroughs shooting under the body of Gartside. The Hornets were lucky it wasn’t 3-1 in the end, Joy Mukena heading away from under his own crossbar to prevent Hickman scoring a header at the far post.
It was an ending that would have been scarcely believable at half-time when the Hornets had an iron grip on proceedings. Mullins will be wondering for some time how his side managed to lose this one.
HORNETS | Gartside (GK); Ryan, Stevens, Mukena; Eleftheriou, Stewart, Dja Djedje, Mason; Pereira; Williams, Folivi. Subs not used: Rodgers, Charles, Bradbury, Sesay, Huja.