Mariappa | “We’ve Got Great Belief”

Despite not starting the season in the team, Adrian Mariappa has been a more than reliable go-to for Marco Silva during a period in which the Hornets have suffered key defensive injuries. 

Following a string of good performances from the Jamaican international, including against West Ham’s Andy Carroll last time out, Mariappa is certainly in good spirits, but says the squad aren't getting ahead of themselves. 

“We’ve had a good start, obviously in the top half of the league so a lot of positives. But our feet are firmly on the ground, just taking care of business day in, day out in training and trying to take that onto the pitch.

“The manager he demands very high standards in training, everyone has to be at it. There’s a lot of competition for places, there’s good players here. We’ve got great belief, we’re scoring a lot of goals and all of that together has been giving us positive results on the pitch.”

Watford went into the West Ham match with three straight defeats against Chelsea, Everton and Stoke, but bounced back with a rousing performance against the Hammers. Mariappa believes the team’s performance was no different last Sunday to those previous defeats.

“In previous games we showed good character and even though we lost, the performances were good and maybe we should have got points out of the games but that’s football.

“We came into the game still with great belief, believing in what we can do and then it’s just about translating that to the game.” 

Watford currently sit eighth in the Premier League and boast an impressive record of scoring at least twice in every away game so far this season. The team continue to impress and defy expectations but when questioned on the potential of the side this campaign, Mariappa was keen to remain calm.

“We’ve just got to take it game by game, keep our feet on the ground. It’s probably not what everyone wants to hear but that’s the truth. Work hard day in day out in training and concentrate on the next game.”

Watford will travel to a Newcastle side who have now lost three games in a row and currently sit 11th in their first season back in the Premier League. The last time they were in the division the Hornets faced them on three different occasions, coming away victorious each time.

However, despite the Magpies' poor recent form Mariappa believes Watford will certainly be in for a difficult game when the whistle blows on Tyneside tomorrow afternoon. 

“We’re going to have to be on it and make sure we’re thorough in our preparation which we are. We know it’s going to be a tough game but we’re confident going into it.”


Silva | “We Play To Try And Score”

Watch the full pre-Newcastle press conference above. Whether you’re at St James' Park on Saturday or supporting from afar, follow the action live – including full match commentary – with watfordfc.com’s dedicated matchday feed; just like the BBC and Sky, but tailored especially for Hornets’ fans.

Head Coach Marco Silva says he remains wholly committed to the free-flowing approach that has yielded two goals in every away game this season.

The Hornets have become one of the most attractive sides on the road, thrillingly finding the net as many times as Tottenham and Liverpool on the back of some speedy and imaginative attacking play.

Silva is not about to throw the baby out without the bath water just because of back-to-back defeats at Chelsea and Everton.

"Two goals in every away match is very good numbers for us," said the Portuguese coach. "This is our goal. We don't go and play with 10 men behind the ball and wait for mistakes. We play to try and score. We won't change a lot."

Silva, though, is not happy with the goals against tally, which is in double figures at home and away.

"I like our team to keep good organisation, good focus and I'm really upset when we concede a goal, especially from a set-piece," he said. "If they score a great goal then congratulations to them. The opposition didn't create a lot. It was more our mistakes."

Newcastle are a side who don't give much away – they've only conceded five goals in six home games – so Saturday's game promises to be a good test of Watford's ability to unlock a defence.

"It will be a really difficult game, a tough game," said Silva.

"They are a good team with a very, very good coach. They have a fantastic support behind them and it will be a very good challenge for us. Until now we have given good answers in our away games. We play well and compete. We will play the same way and we need to prove in the match we want to win more than our opponent."

Silva was relieved to see the team pick up three points against West Ham, not because the Hornets had lost the last three but because the victory provided further vindication of his approach, of what he calls 'our way'. 

"I didn't see a big difference between the three defeats and the West Ham match," he said.

"In the first 45 minutes against Stoke I didn't see our image as a  team. In all the others we performed really well and the result didn't reflect what happened in the pitch. We know we were close to achieving good results. It's important to play like we did after the three defeats. The team performed well, played with confidence and we enjoyed the performance."

The fans enjoyed it too at a rocking Vicarage Road under the lights. It was a demonstration of unity and togetherness after a turbulent week. 

"The team spirit is very, very good. Amazing," said Silva.

"It is important that we show good spirit. We play and perform well and we put on the pitch a fantastic performance. We are totally focused on our work, our week, and the match. Nothing changes now. We know what is our way, what is our obligation. We cannot control speculation. The only way we can prove something is on the pitch."