First Team 03/03/2020

Deeney: “I Want To Take This Club Forward”

By Kevin Affleck

Troy Deeney, who always has a deep sense of occasion, chose the perfect moment to register an assist and a goal for the first time in the same game for nearly a year on Saturday.

Against the world champions and the runaway league leaders, Deeney showed the coolness of a seasoned marksman to sidefoot in the third into the roof of the net to kill the game stone dead and prevent any hope of a second side from Merseyside staging a comeback from two goals down at Vicarage Road.

Twelve minutes earlier, the captain and turned provider by feeding a perfectly-weighted ball down the line for Ismaïla Sarr to latch onto, streak clear of Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren and then beat Alisson Becker with the coolest of finishes. It was the first time Deeney had made one and scored since that riotous win at home to Leicester City, although he did spend three months of that time out injured.

“He played his part like everybody else,” said Head Coach Nigel Pearson in a way designed to highlight the collective and collaborative feel he is trying to bring to the party. “He's that sort of character, a leader for us.”

The captain said to the stricken Gerard Deulofeu at half-time that he would win the game for him and he was true to his word, playing the role of a totemic striker yet again in front of the adoring Rookery End who feed off the captain's energy.

“There was a belief we could get at them,” Deeney told Sky Sports. “We knew we were in the game and with a tight, compact block, we could hit them on the counter. I love the pressure, the expectation. We played well in other games but got done in the last couple of minutes. This is the level and we have to keep it going. We have to take confidence from beating a team of this quality. It means nothing if we don't follow it up next week. I want to take this club forward and make it better.”

Deeney always seems to have a leading role in the memorable games, like the Leicester one, the semi-final against Wolves, the toppling of Manchester United twice here and now this one, the best of the lot.

“It wasn't Watford who stood between Liverpool and their 19th consecutive victory – it was Troy Deeney,” said Garth Crooks when explaining his decision to put Deeney in his BBC Sport Team of the Week.

“Mr Watford was absolutely magnificent throughout this match. The striker occupied Dejan Lovren so completely from making his customary interventions that he reduced the Liverpool defender to no more than a mere bystander on so many occasions and the reason they conceded the first goal.

“Deeney then set up Ismaïla Sarr's second goal with the most incredible awareness before putting the finishing touches to a glorious performance by scoring the third. I don't think it gets better than that.”

First Team 02/03/2020

Injury News: Deulofeu Set For Surgery

Hornets’ forward Gerard Deulofeu is set for surgery soon after scans confirmed a ruptured ACL and torn meniscus suffered during the first-half of Watford’s 3-0 win over Premier League champions-elect Liverpool.

“Unfortunately for him and us, the scan results really show he is probably going to be out for the rest of the season,” Head Coach Nigel Pearson confirmed.

“For sure Geri is going to be a miss for us; but equally it’s important we look forward with a positive mentality. Maxi Pereyra went in for Geri and I thought he did very well when he went on.

“It almost goes without saying that we’ll give Geri all the support he needs for a full recovery.”

Troy Deeney, who suffered a bad injury himself earlier this season, said he will offer support to his teammate and that Saturday's victory was dedicated to him.

“We wish him all the best, we wish his family well. Unfortunately this is the game that we play,” said the club captain.

“It's going to be a real tough one and we wish him well. I said to him at half-time ‘we're going to win this for you’, and thankfully we did, thankfully I'm a man of my word.”