Chalobah: “We’ve Got To Dust Ourselves Off And Go Again”
By Kevin Affleck
Nathaniel Chalobah is adamant the draw against Tranmere in the FA Cup on Saturday should not detract from the feel-good factor surrounding the thrilling Christmas revival.
The Hornets blew a three-goal lead at home to the League One side and now face an awkward replay at Prenton Park. But Chalobah, who stroked in the second goal, offered a bit of perspective afterwards, believing it was just a bump in the road, one of those things that can happen in the cup and that it should be remembered that the Golden Boys are still in the hat for the next round.
“If you look back a few months ago, we are in a completely different situation now,” Chalobah said on Added Time. “We've now got a bit of momentum and we have to keep going. It's a draw – it wasn't a defeat, even though it feels like one to us personally and maybe to the fans – and now we've got a chance to put it right at their place.
“The gaffer and Shakey have come in and changed the vibe of the place and the mentality of the boys and all Watford fans are enjoying themselves and have got that feeling back. I don't think anything should change. We are going to need them to get behind us when we go to Bournemouth. We don't have time to dwell on anything.”
Nigel Pearson will have reiterated that point in the dressing room. He was far from happy at the way the team allowed Tranmere back into the game, and would have voiced that in no uncertain terms, but he will be keen to draw a line under it, learn the lessons and move onto the key game at the Vitality Stadium.
“What he said was plain and simple,” said Chalobah. “First that we need to be disappointed with ourselves that we let a 3-0 lead slip, but we are still in the competition and have a chance to put things right. It's a learning curve for the young lads... but it's not the end of the world. We are still in the competition and get a second chance and you don't [usually] get that.”
Chalobah was replaced at half-time after scoring his first goal for the club since April 2013 and the team never really played with the same tempo again without their England midfielder.
“I am carrying a knock and the way the squad is at the minute, we don't have a huge amount of numbers,” he said. “Today was an opportunity for the lads that haven't been playing, like Tom [Dele-Bashiru] and Dom [Quina] and I put myself in that category. With the injuries we have it was more precaution [taking me off] than anything. It was a decision that had to be made, but we should have still held on for the result.
“I didn't get showered and changed as I wanted to come out and support the boys. It was difficult to watch. Part of me wishes I was still out there playing but... this is football. They got the momentum after scoring the first goal and kept coming and coming. We've just got to dust ourselves off and go again.”