First Team 24/04/2019

Janmaat: “We Changed & Felt More Comfortable”

Watford defender Daryl Janmaat said the half-time changes made by Javi Gracia were essential to the Hornets claiming a point against Southampton on Tuesday night.

After Shane Long scored the fastest goal in Premier League history to put the visitors ahead, the Golden Boys found themselves thwarted by a resilient visiting rearguard throughout the first half.

That led to some choice words and some changes at the interval. And the changes helped put Watford back in the ascendancy, and resulted inAndre Gray scoring a late equaliser.

“In the end if you can’t win, don’t lose,” said the former Newcastle full-back. “I think it is a good point.

“With the early goal, we had to try and forget it because it is the first seconds of the game. We had to go for it.

“In the first half it was difficult for us – Southampton played better. [At half-time] people were frustrated. We couldn’t really get into the duels and we’d lost a lot of challenges, so we had to do that better. But in the second half we changed the system and we felt more comfortable.

“In the end it’s a deserved point, and maybe with a bit more luck we could have got more [after the equaliser]. But I think we can be happy.”

Attention now switches to the Hornets’ third game in eight days. The match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vicarage Road sees a replay of the dramatic FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, and a chance to put some daylight between Watford and a side just two points behind them in the Premier League table.

“We both want to finish seventh,” added Janmaat. “There are a few other teams [fighting for seventh] as well. It’s a really massive game for both teams.”

First Team 24/04/2019

Masina: “We Need To Keep Going”

Adam Masina says Watford have the ability and character to affect games at any time after Andre Gray scored a 90th-minute equaliser to snatch a point against Southampton at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets had gone behind after just 7.69 seconds after Shane Long charged down Craig Cathcart’s clearance.

Gray almost levelled soon after only to see his effort saved by Angus Gunn, before Roberto Pereyra was also denied by the Saints’ glovesman.

But Watford refused to give up and finally earned a deserved point when former Burnley striker Gray lashed high into the net as the clock hit 90 minutes.

That was the Golden Boys’ 10th goal of the season scored in the 80th minute or later, and Masina sees that as a sign there is plenty of character and determination – not to mention fitness - within the dressing room.

“In the end we needed the point and the draw was a fair result,” said the 25-year-old.

“I thought Southampton was going to be a tough game, but it showed anything can happen [in the Premier League]. To concede so early was disappointing but things like that are a part of the game and they happen. We just had to hope that we could score by the end and thankfully we did it.

 “We just need to remember to keep going [in every game].”

There is a consistent desire to improve amongst Javi Gracia’s side as they bid to finish the season as high up the table as they can.

For Masina, who has made 19 league and cup appearances since his summer arrival from Serie A side Bologna, the final three league games of the campaign offer the Hornets a chance to build on their record points tally.

“We need to improve on our mistakes, for sure, but this is part of football,” said the former Italy Under-21 defender. “We need to work hard and try to avoid these situations.

“We need to get the three points [on Saturday] to achieve our goal of seventh place, so the Wolves game is an important one for us.”