21/11/2017

Hughes & Zeegelaar Impress Silva

As full home Premier League debuts go, Will Hughes’ and Marvin Zeegelaar’s couldn’t have been scripted much better. A goal, an assist, a clean sheet, three points and a jump up to eighth in the table. It was story-book stuff.
 
Hughes grabbed most of the headlines. He astutely found pockets of space in the No 10 role, linking the play intelligently and providing a clever conduit between the hard-working, high-energy midfield and Andre Gray, who was tireless in attack.
 
The former England Under-21 international took his goal with all the aplomb of a seasoned finisher and then weighted the pass beautifully for Richarlison to run onto and slam in the second. There was real feeling behind the standing ovation Hughes received when he was substituted seven minutes from time.
 
“He deserved the moment,” said Head Coach Marco Silva. “Last week [at Everton] he made his debut and did well. He repeated that and played very well again.”
 
Hughes has had to learn the art of patience since joining from Derby in the summer. The playmaker has been a peripheral figure, dipping in and out of the bench, and it took until the home game with Stoke for him to be given any Premier League minutes.
 
“He didn't give up, even some moments when he didn't stay in the squad,” added Silva. “He tried to improve every day. It's a good moment for him and I'm happy.”

Zeegelaar impressed during his first Watford outing against the Hammers

Zeegelaar has had to be even more patient than Hughes: he’s had a watching brief, either from the stands or the bench, since signing from Sporting Lisbon at the end of the summer window. 

Handed his chance yesterday at the expense of Jose Holebas, Zeegelaar survived being roughed up by Andy Carroll to put in an assured display down the left.

In putting over a cross for the first and producing another delicious centre across the face of goal in the second-half, Zeegelaar showed the sort of quality that saw him called up to the Dutch national side in 2016. You could certainly tell, by the way he raided down the left, that he started off his career as a winger.
 
“It was very good for me to see [him play like that] and I enjoyed his debut,” said Silva. “I know the player very well. He needed to adapt to the culture and the Premier League but now he knows better our philosophy. The answer he gave is not a surprise.”

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.