First Team 11/02/2019

Mariappa: “Everyone Is Pulling In The Same Direction”

Adrian Mariappa was quick to praise the Vicarage Road faithful after he felt the fans roared the Hornets to victory over Everton.

It was a closely-fought game with few real chances, so maybe, just maybe, the crowd gave the players that marginal advantage they needed to win.

“I thought [the atmosphere] was incredible and I think it has been all season,” said Mariappa, speaking to the press after full-time. “The crowd really get behind us, they sing, you see the banners before the game - it’s becoming a tough place to come to for opposing teams.

“The fans have been terrific - home and away - in every single game. They really give us a good push, which is perfect for the club because everyone is pulling in the same direction, everyone has got a common goal.”

Andre Gray netted the decisive, and only, goal of the game, running onto a pass across the face of goal from Will Hughes to finish off a good team move. Mariappa was pleased for the forward to be back amongst the goals in the Premier League. 

“It was a good team performance, but I’m delighted for Andre, after his injury he’s fought hard to get back into the team,” said the defender. “Obviously he’s got his goal which is great for him and great for the team, and he’s got us three points as well.”

He also reserved special praise for Abdoulaye Doucouré on his return to the side, as he feels the Frenchman gives Watford a different dimension when he plays.

“We’re very blessed to have so many talented central-midfielders,” said the centre-back. “Clevs came on, Nate came on and Domingos wasn’t even involved today. 

“We’ve definitely got strength in depth in the midfield area. I thought [Doucouré] had a terrific game, he was driving us on, winning second balls.”

The Harrow-born defender also dismissed the media narrative surrounding the game - that the Golden Boys would be more up for it because of the return of Marco Silva.

“I’ve played against a lot of ex-managers, but I’m always just focused on us as a team,” said Mariappa. “The media were always going to make a story of it, but for us it was just another home game, a tough game, but an opportunity to get three points.”

First Team 09/02/2019

Gray: “I Wanted To Show I Can Make The Difference”

After scoring the decisive strike in a memorable 1-0 win over Everton, Andre Gray spoke to the watfordfc.com cameras to reflect on his match-winning contribution from the bench.

Watch the video above to see reaction from the striker.