First Team 28/02/2020

Deeney: “We'll Be Here, We'll Be Ready”

Troy Deeney echoed the sentiments of Head Coach Nigel Pearson going into this weekend’s match against Liverpool at Vicarage Road – that there’s no point writing off the match before a ball has been kicked.

In the reverse fixture at Anfield, Abdoulaye Doucouré had a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring and Ismaïla Sarr had an opportunity to equalise when the score was 1-0. The Hornets had sights at goal, so the captain refuses to view Saturday’s opposition as invulnerable.

“If you think like that then it’s not worth turning up,” he said. “We’ll be here, we’ll be ready, just like we were at Anfield. I’m looking at this and saying we want similar to what we did at their place - plus the goals this time, of course!”

If the Hornets are to pull off the incredible and take anything from Jürgen Klopp’s team, Deeney knows they will have to take the game to the visitors. If you sit back and try to shut up shop against this Liverpool side, they will, eventually, find a way through.

“We’ve actually dictated the pace of the game against quite a few teams we’ve played – and I’d include the Liverpool away game in that, for all that it didn’t end well for us,” said Deeney.

“Perhaps at places like Brighton we were a bit too passive to be at our best; sat off a bit and let them get a bit comfortable in possession. That didn’t bring the best out of ourselves.

“Any of the games we’ve won this year – United at home, in fact, and Villa, Wolves, etc. – we’ve had an aggressive shape about us and made things quite scrappy and uncomfortable. That suits a sort of press-and-hit style when you’re then using power and pace to move the ball quickly and create chances. It’s the kind of football we know we’ve got in the locker.”

The match at Anfield in December was Nigel Pearson’s first in charge and, despite ending in defeat, the performance laid the foundation for the four wins in five games which were to follow.

The Head Coach and his captain will both be looking for this match to act as a similar springboard going into a series of big fixtures in March and April.

“Liverpool away was the catalyst for us to go on the run we did over Christmas. There’s a completely different feel to our place now. A genuine belief driven by a proper man who’s a manager, not just a coach, because he’s a great manager of people,” said Deeney.

“He gets the best out of players and all individuals – it doesn’t matter what role you play here at the club. It’s had a massive galvanising effect and it means we can go into today without the pressure on our shoulders because we’re back in the mix; in a position which means we’ve got 10 games after today to be masters of our own destiny.

“Before he came in, we were dead and buried. Done. Now, we’ve got a massively exciting end to the season ahead. And it’s in our hands.”


Mariappa's Ten Men: Football Manager To Sponsor Event

Watford Football Club is delighted to announce long-standing club partner Football Manager as the Official Sponsor of Mariappa's Ten Men, a night celebrating Adrian Mariappa's ten seasons as a professional at Watford FC.

The special night at Shendish Manor Hotel on March 18 will see at least one player representing each of Aidy’s ten seasons as a Watford pro before the current campaign. Current players and staff will also be in attendance as they pay tribute to one of the club’s most well respected servants in a Q&A style informal evening.

Malky Mackay, Danny Shittu, Gavin Mahon, Jobi McAnuff, Martin Taylor, Younes Kaboul, Stephen McGinn, Nyron Nosworthy and the irrepressible Lloyd Doyley are among those ex-Hornets set to attend.

The night includes a two-course meal, Q&As with many of the special guests plus a chance to mingle with players past and present once the evening begins to draw to a close.

To make booking your place(s) as simple as possible, this event has been loaded into the club’s ticketing system HERE. Individual places can be purchased at £55, while a table of ten can be secured for £500.

The dress code is smart casual and we look forward to seeing you there to celebrate Aidy’s long and ongoing service to Watford Football Club.

Note: At Aidy’s choice, any surplus from the evening – which will include some exclusive auction items – will be donated to support the Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust’s ‘Golden Memories’ project run for local people (including some notable former Watford players) who have mild-to-moderate dementia diagnosis.