Silva On Mapps | “Ready Every Time”

Miguel Britos returns from suspension for the trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and he has a job on his hands to wrestle the shirt off the back of Adrian Mariappa. Possession is nine tenths of the law after all.  

The redoubtable Mariappa has played 259 times for the Golden Boys in so many different eras but this was arguably his best ever performance, especially when you consider the calibre of the opposition and when you take the exalted level into account.

He was towering in the air, regularly out-jumping Wilfried Bony and the flying block he produced to deny Tammy Abraham a certain second goal fell very much into the goal-saving category.

Most impressively, he switched seamlessly from playing in a back two to a back three and although he may be the smallest of the central defenders on the club's books, he stood the tallest.

“It was a very good performance,” said Head Coach Marco Silva.

“Last week he did well also. He knows what we want, what is our idea in our backline. He is one player who knows the club and one player who is ready every time to help the team.” 

Andre Gray netted his first Watford goal against the Swans

Andre Gray, on the other hand, is just starting out his Watford career and his celebration at opening the scoring told you how relieved he was to open his Watford account at the seventh time of asking. He needed that goal. That club-record transfer fee won't be weighing quite so heavy now.

“It's important for him and our strikers to score,” said Silva.

“I am happy with his work before but the goal gives him more confidence. I am happy, not only because he scored but how he worked for the team.”

Richarlison is another who works his socks off the team.

He was overshadowed by Andrè Carrillo on the other wing during the first half but his influence grew as the game wore on and the fact it was him who was leading the press on Alfie Mawson, pressurising the Swansea defender into a mistake for the winning goal, was typical of the shift he puts in. The finish, in off the crossbar, had a touch of Brazilian flair about it.

“He's an amazing talent,” said Silva.

“He's 20 years old and we really believe in him. He likes to work and learn every day. It was maybe not his best performance today but it's still a good moment for him.”


Silva | “Three Really Important Points”

A delighted Marco Silva was proud of his history-making Watford side yesterday afternoon, declaring the exhilarating victory they picked up at Swansea as "an important three points".

No team in the club's rich history, not even the ones during the halcyon days of Graham Taylor, have managed to secure three successive away wins in the top-flight but this exciting and progressive team have now managed that by adding to the two wins they joyously picked up on the south coast. 

"It is a really important win," said the Head Coach. "These are three really important points. A third win in a row is really difficult for a team like Watford but our boys have now put a stamp on a good moment in the history of this club."

Richarlison's winning goal in off the cross-bar will be the defining memory of the match, but Watford laid the foundations for this win in a first-half they controlled with a mixture of high pressing and slick counter-attacking football. 

"We started really well," said Silva.

"The first 35 minutes we did very well, with the football we played. We scored one goal and could have had more. We controlled the match but you need in that moment to believe and score the second to kill the match.

"We lost some important balls in the last 10 minutes of the half and Swansea started to believe. They didn't have many chances to score in the first-half, but they started to believe from set-pieces."

The momentum swung Swansea's way following their double change at the break, with Tammy Abraham and Roque Mesa summoned to inject some life into the lifeless home side.

Silva, who loves the tactical battle, responded by bringing on Molla Waguè for his debut and switching to a three-man defence for the first time.

"We changed at half-time as we know they will do this change to three up front." he said.

"They started really strong in the second-half and they created a lot of problems for us. To concede a goal from a throw-in is not normal for us. We have to work on this.

"The game then started to be more balanced and we started to believe. We had a good chance with Troy Deeney and then we scored with Richarlison.

"This win is really important for us as we had a tough afternoon last week. This is now the past. Today we were better in the first-half and they were better in the second-half."