Hughes: “We Thought It Was A Decent Opportunity”
Will Hughes said he “felt the contact” of Andrew Robertson’s challenge that could have seen the Hornets awarded a penalty with the game goalless against Liverpool, but also conceded that Watford weren’t good enough in possession against the Reds to win the game.
The former England youth international’s view of the game was that once the first goal was scored, the Golden Boys were always facing an uphill battle.
“I wouldn’t say we played really well,” said Hughes, speaking to the press after full-time. “In the first 60 minutes we were really organised and defensively we were quite sound, but I don’t think we were too good on the counter-attack - we missed a few opportunities with some poor passes.
“Once the first goal goes in it’s quite frustrating, and then when you’re trying to get back into it against a team like Liverpool they are going to punish you.
“You want to go into every game thinking you can get something out of it, and for the first 60 minutes we were well in it. We thought it was a decent opportunity to get a point or three, but you can’t take your eye off the ball for one second.”
The big talking point of the game was the 55th-minute penalty appeal - Hughes, running into the area nicked the ball away from Robertson and the Scotsman caught the Watford midfielder on his shin.
The looks of disbelief from the players afterwards, and the audible echoes of that frustration in the stands, clearly showed what those of a Watford persuasion thought of the tackle, but referee Jon Moss ignored the Hornets’ protests.
“In the moment it’s different to watching it on TV,” said the midfielder. “I’ve felt the contact and gone over, and whether or not there was enough contact I’m not sure, but we’ll have to watch the replays.”
Hughes is quick to move on. With a busy December and January schedule coming up fast, the former Derby man was keen to stress the importance of the whole squad as Watford enter the festive period.
“It’s only good for the team to have healthy competition,” said Hughes. “It makes everyone train that little bit harder and it’s good for the team in the long run, because if you’ve got a spot in the team and you’re not performing to a high standard then there’s going to be someone else who’s going to take your place.
“Every Christmas period is a big challenge, and it makes or breaks some teams’ seasons. We are ready for it, we have a squad capable of being competitive in every game, and we’re looking forward to it.”