First Team 1 month ago

Mariappa: “The Boys Are Putting Their Bodies On The Line”

Adrian Mariappa thinks the camaraderie and high intensity of this Watford team helped them pull off a vital win against Manchester United, and has full faith there are more wins to come.

“It’s obviously very important for us to get our first win at home. I think the performances of late have been good so to get a win, especially against Man United at home, is massive for us and will hopefully give us a bit of momentum to kickstart to where we want to go,” said the defender.

“Energy levels are high, and you can see that from the last two games. The effort from the boys, they’re running for each other, defending for each other and putting their bodies on the line. That’s a minimum ask for us now, especially in the position we’re in.”

Mariappa has noticed an increase in motivation around the training ground and thinks Nigel Pearson’s attention to detail is key.

“The gaffer has got his own coaching staff and has definitely revved us up before the last two games and I think you can see that,” said Mariappa.

“He’s on all the standards around the training ground, trying to raise those as well and all those little things add to the performances on the weekend, which has happened today.”

Playing in his 11th season as part of the Hornets’ first team, Mariappa has Watford running through his veins and both wants the club to stay in the Premier League and believes they will.

“I came through the Academy since the age of nine and I want to see the best for this club. When I’m wearing the shirt or when I’m not playing, I’ll be supporting the lads as best I can so we can try to get the wins to try to stay in the league,” he said.

“It’s very realistic and I’ve got full faith and belief that we can come through the other end. I’ve been in worse situations and when I was at Crystal Palace the team there was nowhere near what we’ve got here, and we finished in mid-table. So I’ve got full belief we will turn this around.”

First Team 1 month ago

Hughes: “We Can’t Take Our Foot Off The Pedal”

Will Hughes thinks the Hornets beat Manchester United through hard work and discipline, and wants the team to kick on after this win and not rest on their laurels.

“I don’t think we were at our best performance wise, but we grafted hard and did the basics right and I think that’s all you can ask for, then the quality will shine through,” said the midfielder.

“It’s very frustrating, how the season has gone so far, but we know what we’re capable of. This was a good Man United team and we put in the work ethic and got the rewards today.

“It’s been frustrating because we have put in good performances this season which have warranted more, but it’s about getting it done on the pitch and that’s what we’ve done today.”

The Hornets had hoped to build on November’s victory against Norwich City, but Hughes felt that performances dropped after the first win and wants to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

“A few weeks ago, we beat Norwich and thought that was the start, but we didn’t progress from there,” he said.

“We need to knuckle down as it’s just three points at the end of the day and we’re still bottom of the league, so we need to go to Sheffield on Boxing Day and give them a good game as well.

“We have to take each game as it comes and we can’t take our foot off the pedal now because we’ve won one game, which we probably did after beating Norwich.”

Hughes has shone in a deeper role under Nigel Pearson, who previously worked with the midfielder at Derby County, and thinks the position is bringing out the best in him.

“Every manager has their own way of coaching and managing, we’re only two games in now with the new manager but so far, so good in terms of performances and results,” Hughes said.

“I’m playing more defensive now, but as long as I’m on the pitch I’ll be happy. I’ll put in a good job wherever I’m playing but I prefer that position with the pitch in front of me. But as long as I’m on the pitch, I’m happy.”

“We have the experience in the squad, players who have been at the bottom and at the top, so we know we have the experience in the squad to deal with this situation. But it’s about doing it on the pitch and hopefully this will be the start of a good run.”