First Team 07/10/2019

Prödl: “I’ve Experienced A Lot In Football”

Sebastian Prödl has been through difficult situations in football before, both personally in terms of injuries and finding himself out of favour but also facing battles at the wrong end of the table with his team.

During the 2014/15 season his Werder Bremen side did not win a Bundesliga game until November 1 but finished the season comfortably in 10th place, and Prödl wants to use this kind of experience to help the Hornets get out of a similar sticky patch.

“I’ve experienced a lot in football, I’ve seen many managers, a lot of clubs and a lot of situations,” said the centre-half. “Especially situations like we are in now, at the bottom of the table, and I have experienced as well how to get out.”

Prödl made his first league start since April 2018 against Sheffield United and knows more work is needed to turn results around for the Hornets, but was pleased to mark his return by helping the team to a first clean sheet since February.

“I’m glad to be back in competition at Watford,” he said. “I’ve suffered a bad couple of months with injury comebacks and being out of favour but I was focused on my goal, that I want to be back for Watford in the Premier League to help the team, especially this very weird and difficult situation, to be back with my experience to help the team out. I am working hard.”

The 32-year-old knows everyone was hoping to take all three points against Sheffield United, and doesn’t shy away from the fact that wins are needed soon. But the defender was impressed with the defensive structure from the Hornets, who restricted the away side to minimal chances.

“I think in terms of defending we did well today,” said Prödl. “In terms of scoring we can improve, but I think we knew this was going to be a difficult game. We have to admit that it’s a disappointing result but on the other hand I think we showed some improvements as well.

“As a group to defend I think we always had six, seven, eight players defending. We had to take a lot of crosses from Sheffield United. I think the commitment and defensive work was key today to get the clean sheet.”

Prödl had to leave the pitch with half an hour to play after feeling a slight injury, but Craig Dawson was able to come on and continue the defender's work for the remainder of the match. Keeping the clean sheet meant a small step forward for Watford, and another point on the board, but Prödl wants to start making bigger strides in the league soon.

“We started today with a little step, it’s not good that we’re starting with little steps but at least we’re starting. It’s not the result we wished before, but it’s a little step forward,” he said.

“We need to look forward, push forward towards getting better results, we need to push for some points. We want to maintain our status as a Premier League club and the sooner we face reality, the better it is to get out and the easier it will become to get out.”

First Team 06/10/2019

Kabasele: “The Clean Sheet Is Very Important”

Christian Kabasele knows everyone at Watford wanted to take all three points from Sheffield United, but insists a first clean sheet since February and another point on the board is an important step in the right direction for the Hornets.

Sheffield United had the lion’s share of possession but that would have suited Quique Sánchez Flores just fine, as his Hornets restricted the away team to minimal chances and looked dangerous with quick breaks forward.

“The clean sheet is very important for the team because since February we haven’t had one, so it’s good for the confidence,” said Kabasele.

“Even if we didn’t have the possession today, we lost a lot of games in a row and it was first of all very important to not concede, because when you don’t concede you have at least one point.

“We didn’t concede, we played for the second time with a back five and from these two games we didn’t lose.”

The Hornets had big chances to open the scoring, and on another day could have won comfortably. Although it wasn’t to be for the home side, Kabasele thinks there are positives to take.

“The positive thing is we created three very good chances to score, but we didn’t finish it,” said the defender. “But it’s okay, we were low in confidence and with a clean sheet it’s good to take.

“Obviously in our situation we cannot be 100 per cent satisfied, we were at home, we didn’t take three points here so it’s a shame we didn’t finish our chances.”

With these positive indicators, Kabasele insists the signs are there that the Hornets will be back to winning ways sooner rather than later.

“I don’t think a win is far away,” he said. “We didn’t concede today, so we are able to do this even if we change our formation. We need to believe and start to win as soon as possible. As soon as we can we need a victory to try to leave this position.

“With all the respect for the other teams, I think we have too much quality up front to be involved in a relegation battle. But this is the reality today, we are last in the league and we need as soon as possible to change the situation.”