First Team 21/10/2019

Dawson: “The Confidence Has Grown”

The Hornets were minutes away from keeping a clean sheet and pulling off an excellent away win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and Craig Dawson feels the team deserved more than a point from their outstanding performance.

“It was a tough one to take, the whole squad and the group really showed some spirit and we were really unfortunate not to come away with three points,” said the centre-half. “But it’s a point against Tottenham and you can’t look down at that. There are a lot of positives to take out of this game.”

The visitors led for the majority of the match after Abdoulaye Doucouré’s opener on six minutes and could have extended their lead on more than one occasion but were pegged back at the death by a Dele Alli goal.

Aside from rueing missed chances and an unfortunate mix-up which led to the equaliser, Dawson was frustrated that certain refereeing decisions did not go his team’s way. But the 29-year-old chose his words carefully.

“Obviously there were a few contentious VAR moments, but it is what it is, that’s the game at the moment and we all have to respect it and carry on,” he said. “If we play like we did today then we can get that win shortly. Their defender has gone to ground and not made contact with the ball, so it’s the referee’s decision and unfortunately for us it’s not gone our way.”

The exceptional performance came as no surprise for Dawson, who has noticed improvements all week as the Hornets get to grips with Quique Sánchez Flores’ style of play and only expects more progression from here.

“We’ve had a good week’s training, the lads have shown lots of effort in training and worked really hard and you could see that in today’s performance. As a team the confidence has grown from today and hopefully we can take that into the next game,” said Dawson.

“Obviously the start of the season hasn’t gone to plan but we’re working very hard during the week as a team and the management staff as well to put things right, and that’s what we’re going to do. You could see that today, the performance was there, just unfortunately we didn’t get the result today.”

First Team 20/10/2019

Deulofeu: “A Really Good Point But It Could’ve Been Three”

Gerard Deulofeu believes the confidence gained from an impressive showing at Spurs will be worth way more to Watford in the long run than the solitary point they took from North London. 

Speaking to Added Time after the final whistle, the Spaniard said: “It was a shame to not get the three points but we take a good result from here and even more we take confidence, and that’s the most important thing.

“We are in a bad period and every point and every good game we play is good for confidence and for getting out of the bottom of the table.

“We don’t deserve this with this group of players, we have trained well and we showed today what we can do. We have to fight because it’s a long time without a win in the Premier League and today we deserved the three points.

“It’s a really good point at this type of stadium, but if you see the highlights or the whole game you see that we could have got the the three points.”

In the first of two VAR talking points on Watford’s first visit to Tottenham’s new stadium, Deulofeu’s appeal for a first-half penalty fell on deaf ears despite what looked a clear trip by Jan Vertonghen. 

“For me, I said to my teammates and everybody that it is 100 per cent a penalty,” argued the attacker, who was introduced as an early replacement for the injured Danny Welbeck. 

“I felt I was travelling with the ball and he touched me not the ball, but it’s not my decision and I hope next time after that type of action it’s going to be a penalty.”

Deulofeu also felt Spurs’ late leveller should not have stood, and not just because of a possible handball in the build-up to Dele Alli’s 86th-minute equaliser. 

“In my opinion there was a foul on Kaba but it is the decision of VAR and the referee. We can’t do anything apart from keep fighting and trying to win more easily,” he said. 

The Hornets are edging closer to that first 2019/20 league win and Deulofeu believes with some better decision making in the final third, three points are just around the corner. 

“Today we defended really well and were really compact so afterwards it’s hard to go on the counter-attack, but there were lots of spaces and in the second half we didn’t always take the best decision,” he reflected. 

“That’s football, we have to improve every day and next time we are going to take the best decision and hopefully win.”