03/01/2018

Silva | “Can't Start With Fear”

Marco Silva left the Etihad last night with just a glimpse of what might have been.

Watford were three down against Pep Guardiola's mercurial City side when Andre Gray got one back. The front-man had previously been frustrated by Ederson in the home goal on two occasions, and add to that the late Roberto Pereyra penalty claim which Lee Mason ignored, Silva couldn't help but wonder. 

“The way we ended the match [was the biggest positive],” he told watfordfc.com after full-time. 

“There was more ability with the ball and more courage as a team. This is our way. Until now, we have always showed courage as a team and for the first 30 minutes tonight we didn't do that.

“Even in that really bad 30 minutes, we had two clear chances to score, Andre against Ederson. Of course, if you score in that moment it gives more belief for our team. Like when we scored at 3-1, it's easy to understand that we had more belief. If we make it 1-1, or 2-1, maybe it can be different. This is football. 

“We need to respect they are doing an amazing season but we cannot start one game with fear, to be scared of our opponent. Even if our opponent is Manchester City.”

Gray was the Hornets' stand-out performer in the Manchester rain, a menace in behind the City back-line and an outlet from the get-go. 

“It was a good moment for Andre,” Silva commented.

“I hope it gave more confidence for him. He needs this, and I hope in that next games we will see him more confident.”

Watch the full post-match chat with Silva above or click below for reaction from Gray plus stats and social media. 

MATCH REVIEW

First Team 02/01/2018

Cleverley On Gray | “He Brings Us Another Dimension”

After notching his third goal of the season during tonight’s 3-1 defeat at table-topping Manchester City, Tom Cleverley moved to praise Andre Gray’s all-round contribution to the Hornets’ cause.

Speaking to watfordfc.com after full-time, the midfielder said: “He [Andre] brings us another dimension. His runs in behind are something that go quite unnoticed and I think he's really clever where he makes his runs.

“I'm really pleased he got his goal tonight and I think with just a bit of confidence, which I'm sure will come, he’ll score plenty more goals like he always has done in the past.”

Gray twice got beyond City’s defence during the opening 45 minutes, both times using his pace to good effect before drawing saves from Ederson.

The ex-Burnley front-man then hit the target from close-range during the final 10 minutes, and Cleverley is backing his teammate to build on tonight’s positive showing.

“We’re always a threat when we've got Andre on the pitch. One of the first chances was a great save from the keeper and the one in the second-half he has put away, so hopefully he can really press on from now,” said Cleverley.

“He works hard in training and there's no-one that wants him to do well more than us, because he is a really good guy to have around.

“As players you give that extra 10 per cent when you are in a run of form like we are. We are all working hard day in, day out, to put things right, and Andre is no different to every member of the squad.”

Cleverley was introduced in place of Watson just after the hour-mark

After a disappointing start to proceedings at the Etihad Stadium, Cleverley felt Watford grew into the game, even if the damage had, ultimately, already been done.

“I thought we were more confident on the ball near the end,” he said.

“I know they maybe took their foot off the gas a little bit and made a few changes, but we ended strong and we are always a threat in the games we play.”