First Team 19/08/2019

Welbeck: “I Got A Great Reception”

By Kevin Affleck

Danny Welbeck was chuffed to hear the quick-thinking Watford fans roll out a new song for him just minutes after he charged onto the pitch for his Hornets debut.

The England striker was sent on by Javi Gracia with 23 minutes of the game left at Goodison Park and it did not take long for the travelling fans to come up with a version of the chant Chelsea fans serenade Frank Lampard with.

“I got a great reception from the Watford fans,” said Welbeck. “That was very pleasing. I couldn't hear fully but I could make it out and it was very nice. I'm planning to make them sing it a lot more once I start playing a lot more often.”

The game was Welbeck's first competitive minutes of any sort since he badly damaged his ankle playing for Arsenal at the beginning of November. He looks in remarkable physical shape, as his performance on the treadmill showed, but he knows it will take time before he is match fit and up to the sort of level that saw him rattle in 16 goals for England.

“It was great to get on the field,” he said. “It's been a long time coming and something I've worked hard for. I've not had a full pre-season and I've only had three or four training sessions, so it's a bit new to me, being on the pitch with new players. I'm going to keep on training hard during the week and hopefully be sharper next week and I'll be ready to go.

“I was a bit rusty but I did the best I could. I've been working outside on my own and had a lot of support from different trainers and the support of family and friends. They've kept pushing me along and it's great to be back.”

The availability of Welbeck provides Gracia with another quality attacking option and it shows the faith the Head Coach has in the 28-year-old forward that he picked him after just a week's worth of training.

“I am happy for him because he was a long time injured and today was his first game,” said Gracia. “He had the team happy with his performance and I’m sure in the future he will help us.”

First Team 18/08/2019

Highlights: Everton 1-0 Watford

See extended highlights of Watford's trip to Goodison Park on the first away day of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.