17/10/2017

Under-23 | “The Rewards From Hard Work”

Michael Folivi is turning into the Hornets' Under-23 side's lucky omen.

He's scored seven times this season and Hayden Mullins' team are yet to lose when he gets on the score-sheet. 

"Mike has been brilliant this season, he's been excellent," said Mullins after yesterday's 3-0 win over Colchester United at Vicarage Road, in which Folivi scored twice.

"He's played like that in the majority of the games and he was like that away at Southampton [in the 2-1 cup win]. He's getting the rewards from hard work. He's getting his goals and standing out.

"He's a good player. He's a little bit stronger, a little bit wiser [this season]. He's quick, inventive and can finish one-v-one. We are working on bits and pieces, like shooting through legs, but his all-round performance was very good."

The rest were not bad, either, as the young Golden Boys ended a run of three straight Professional Development League defeats.

"It was a very good reaction to the defeat [against Charlton] last week," said Mullins.

"We watched the video a few times and we spoke about the realism of football. It's not all pretty passing – you've got to hurt the other team.

"I thought we did that today with the pace we had up front and with the pace we had out wide. We stretched them a lot and we caused them a lot of problems."

Mullins demanded a response after the toothless display against Charlton last time out and he got one.

You had Brice Dja Djédjé leading the press in Tom Cleverley fashion from midfield; Charlie Rowan taking one shot in the midriff and then Rowan and Andrew Eleftheriou, the captain, both bravely throwing themselves in the line of fire to stop the same shot. It was very much a one for all and all for one mentality. 

"It's been like that in training," said Mullins.

"We needed a reaction from Charlton, it was a little bit flat. We needed a game like today, to go out, play well and pass it around. We hurt the opposition in behind; it was brilliant and really good to watch. I'd watch that every week."

First Team 16/10/2017

Deeney | “It’s A Massive Team Effort”

Troy Deeney felt Tom Cleverley's stoppage-time winner in yet another thrilling finish involving the Golden Boys was a fitting reward for his performances this season.

Cleverley sent Vicarage Road wild by reacting to a loose ball in the Arsenal box and ramming the winner into the roof of the net.

It was his first goal of the season and his first for the Golden Boys since one in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in 2010. How far the midfielder and the club have come since.

"Tom has been our best player by a mile," said Deeney.

"Doucourè has got all the credit for scoring but Tom has been different class. I'm absolutely buzzing for him to get that goal."

Although Marco Silva didn't alter things personnel wise at half-time, Cleverley revealed the seeds of the second-half transformation were sewn at half-time.

"The manager said we needed to play with more belief and we did that," said the player signed from Everton. "The first task was to make sure we didn't lose it but Troy came on and changed things." . 

Deeney lifted the lid further on just what went on at half-time.

"Massive credit to the manager," said the club captain. "Some would call it a half-time teamtalk but I'd call it more of a roasting. He really got into people."

Silva's ability to wield the big stick as well as put an arm around the shoulder has galvanised this transformed squad and propelled them up to the dizzy heights of fourth.

"It's been a great start to the season," added Deeney.

"We've got a great bunch and we are building something really good. We had a last-minute winner at Swansea, a last-minute equaliser at West Brom and now this.

"We've got great belief and it shows we keep going and how fit we are. The lads off the bench are making a big difference; it's a massive team effort."

Cleverley has been in enough dressing rooms with England, Manchester United, Leicester, Wigan, Aston Villa and Everton to know a good one when he sees one.

"I really feel we are building something here," he said.

"Why not go and beat Chelsea [next week]. We go there with confidence." 

Watch Deeney's post-match interview with watfordfc.com in the video above - free to view, so sign-up required!

HIGHLIGHTS & REACTION | WATFORD 2-1 ARSENAL