Silva | “One More Challenge For Us”

Marco Silva was relegated the last time he took a side to Crystal Palace. How times change. Now he takes his new progressive top-nine side to Selhurst Park tomorrow night looking for them to reload and go again after a tough-to-swallow defeat at Burnley on Saturday.
The Golden Boys are smarting from what happened at Burnley, believing they were well in the game when the match was even-steven. Silva felt the result would have been different had it remained 11 vs 11. The Head Coach is now looking for a response, similar to the one his side produced against West Ham after the unfathomable defeat at Everton.
But it won’t be easy. Silva needs no reminding of the threat the Eagles pose as virtually the same group of Palace players thrashed his Hull side 4-0 in the penultimate game of last season, relegating the Tigers to the Championship. That’s now water under the bridge. The Head Coach is interested in milestones not millstones.
“It was a different game, a different team and a different season,” said Silva. “Our goal is to get a different result.”
He wants to write a new script this time but he’s mindful of Palace’s mini resurgence under Roy Hodgson, aware of the five-match unbeaten run they’ve put together. There will be no easy pickings on offer at the league’s bottom club.
“It will be a tough match,” said Silva. “They have improved since Hodgson arrived, the quality of the football as well. The quality they have in the squad didn’t reflect in the table. This is clear. They stay last in the table but quality in the squad didn’t reflect how they can play in the attack line.

“They have big quality in the attack line and in Milivojević they have one player who I know very well [from our time at Olympiacos]. In one moment they can solve the solution. But we go there to compete, to take a good result. It’s one more challenge for us.”

Palace are unbeaten in their last five games but have struggled to turn draws into wins

Tuesday night’s game once again pitches the Hornets against Wilfried Zaha, the forward who has so often been their nemesis.
“We need to be careful with him,” said Silva. “He’s a good player, a player with very good talents. We’ll pay attention to Zaha, to Townsend, to Loftus-Cheek like Palace will pay attention to Richarlison, Deeney, Gray, Carrillo and Pereyra. What I hope is that the referee pays the same attention to Richarlison as he pays to Zaha.”
The Golden Boys are now deep into a spell of eight league matches in 31 days, a spell that will test the depth of the squad and its resourcefulness. It will be Silva’s first taste of English football at Christmas.
“It’s a tough month for everyone,” said Silva. “But it’s one month to enjoy, with lots of games to play and an important moment of the year. We will think in the same way, training by training session, game by game.

“We don’t have a lot of time to prepare and the weather really doesn’t help us to work. It’s hard to recover players and get everyone at a good level but we need to respect the schedule.”
The Golden Boys have earned plenty of respect themselves, particularly on the back of their away form which has helped establish them as a top-ten side and one of the most dangerous sides on the road.
“We deserve the credit we have because we perform well, even if we didn’t achieve results we want. [at Chelsea, at Everton and at Burnley]. We need to learn every day with some things we are doing, but we are working to achieve our goal. We are here to make players better day by day. It is our obligation.”


Team News | Crystal Palace

Update, December 12, 9am 

Watford will be without defender Marvin Zeegelaar for the trip to Crystal Palace tonight, after the club's appeal against the red card showed to the Dutchman at Burnley was unsuccessful. 

Marco Silva will wait on the outcome of the club's appeal of Marvin Zeegelaar's sending off before naming what he anticipates being an otherwise unchanged squad for the trip to Crystal Palace.

The club lodged an appeal with the Football Association this morning in a bid to get the first-half red card shown to Zeegelaar overturned. The Dutch left-back faces a three-match ban should the appeal be unsuccessful.

Should Zeegelaar's red card be upheld, José Holebas looks poised to start at left-back for the first time since Everton away, and Molla Wagué looks set to come onto the bench. Miguel Britos and Kiko Femenía are struggling to make the match at Selhurst Park.

"We’ll try with them," said Silva. "Britos is more difficult to play tomorrow but we'll see what happens. Kiko is a matter of days. His injury is nothing special, he has some fatigue as well. We need to be 100 per cent sure they can play."

Zeegelaar will miss the Palace game if his red card is not overturned

Apart from that, Silva reports a clean bill of health from the players involved at Turf Moor on Saturday.

"Nothing new after the last match," said the Head Coach. "We are still in recovery with the players and we will work again today with them. We’ll see how they are but there is nothing special, no big problems."

Silva was asked by the press this morning about whether Richarlison needed a rest. The electrifying winger from Brazil has only missed 21 minutes of the last 15 league and cup games and arrived at Watford on the back of a full season for Fluminense. 
"We need to manage him if we feel he's too tired," said Silva. "He doesn’t look tired but he cannot play a high level every time. We expect a player with his skills to play at a high level all the time but it is not possible. We need to take care of him, as he’s 20 years old.

"It's not only him to solve the problems on the pitch. We need to solve the problems as a team, players like Deeney, Andre Gray, Carrillo and Pereyra need to take the decision and solve the problems for the team and take some pressures away."

Watch Silva's full pre-Palace press conference above - free to view, no sign-up required.