26/07/2017

Kabasele | “I’m Feeling Really Good”

Christian Kabasele says he’s feeling ‘really good’ following a season which was disrupted by injuries for the Belgian international.

The defender has been fully involved in pre-season preparations so far and admits it’s good to be back on the training pitch after an abrupt end to the 2016/17 campaign due to an injury suffered at Everton in May. 

“In the beginning it [returning to training] was a little bit difficult, but after the first week back everything was okay and now I’m feeling really, really good,” said the 26-year-old.

After playing for 45 minutes at AFC Wimbledon, Kabasele featured throughout both friendlies in Austria last week, and the centre-half believes there’s plenty of cause for optimism ahead of the new season.

“We won the two games in Austria and it’s only friendly games, but it’s still good for the confidence,” he said.

“We have a new manager, we feel that the club is changing in a good way and everybody wants to be a part of it.”

He also praised the impact that new signings Will Hughes, Nathaniel Chalobah, Kiko Femenía and Daniel Bachmann have had on the group.

“They’re already part of the family. They can bring a fresh way of playing, some creativity and fighting spirit,” he told watfordfc.com.

“Everybody shows in training what they’re able to do to bring something more to the team and to help the team have a good season.”

Watch the full interview with Kabasele above for free - no sign-up required!


Come and pay tribute to Watford's greatest ever manager at The Graham Taylor Matchday on Sat Aug 5.

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First Team 23/07/2017

Highlights | SD Eibar 0-1 Watford

Watford completed a successful pre-season training camp in Austria this afternoon, defeating SD Eibar in Kufstein courtesy of an Étienne Capoue goal. 

It was a hard-earned win, as the La Liga side forced Marco Silva's men to soak up sustained periods of pressure, albeit without creating substantial clear-cut chances. 

Stefano Okaka had the Hornets' best early opportunity, as he took down a hooked long ball from Christian Kabasele before powering past three Eibar players, only to be taken down when in on goal. Perhaps the merit of a penalty wasn't entirely clear, but when the referee chose to give a free-kick the other way, Okaka and many watching on were slightly bemused.

Eibar were the next to go close, former Manchester United man Bebe will think he should have done better when the ball came loose on the edge of Watford's box and he belted it a foot the wrong side of the post. 

A quick break just before half-time almost caught the Hornets out, but the well-involved Bebe's ball was eventually cleared after a nervy moment of insecurity within the Watford box.

There were good battles for Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat in the full-back positions, Ivan Alejo on the right and Bebe on the left keeping the Watford men busy. 

Chalobah and Capoue embrace after the Frenchman's winner

Three changes came from Silva at the interval, with Nathaniel Chalobah, Jerome Sinclair and Adboulaye Doucouré all getting the nod. 

Sinclair was on the receiving end of a not-so-friendly challenge early in the half, Alejo looking up to a yellow card as he apologised to the Watford winger for a late tackle. The Spaniard could have been off moments later as he tumbled theatrically under Holebas' challenge, but leniency was shown by the referee.

Nano almost notched the opener for the opposition in an almost chanceless second period, finding Alejo's inside ball and poking wide via an outstretched Watford leg. 

And the miss proved costly, as the Hornets took the lead moments later. Positive play on the left from substitute Isaac Success saw the ball set up for Capoue, who swivelled and hit the ball home low through Marko Dmitrovic's fingers.

The Hornets were quickly back on the bus and on their way to the airport, as they make a swift return to the UK to prepare for the trip to Aston Villa next week. 

HORNETS: Gomes (GK) (c) (63, Bachmann); Janmaat, Kabasele, Prödl, Holebas; Watson (HT, Chalobah), Capoue; Berghuis (HT, Sinclair), Hughes (HT, Doucouré), Amrabat; Okaka (Success, 63).

Subs not used: Rowan.