First Team 21/12/2019

Deulofeu: “It’s About How We Finish The Season”

Gerard Deulofeu is honest enough to admit the season thus far has not gone to plan – on an individual basis as well as for the team.

At times the Spaniard has looked like Watford’s most likely creator of goals, but he’s the first to admit there’s a whole lot more to come from the attacker who has scored twice in 17 league outings.

“It’s not enough – my individual performance and also the team performance,” Deulofeu said, speaking ahead of Sunday’s Manchester United test.

“We are in a really bad situation and we have to change it, but what I have to say is it’s not about how we started the season, it’s about how we finish it.

“We have time to change and for me to improve my individual statistics and help the team.”

The visit of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side marks Nigel Pearson’s first home game in the Watford dugout, and Deulofeu has been impressed by the new Head Coach’s impact on and off the football pitch.

“We are all really happy with the coach because he likes to be really organised and he controls everything,” he said.

“He has good organisation outside the pitch but also inside the pitch, and that’s the main thing. He wants to press high and play in the other part of the pitch, and that’s what I like. 

“Earlier in the season we defended a lot and with the quality of players we have I think we have to go forward, press high and put the other team in difficulty. That’s what we did against Crystal Palace and last time at Anfield.

“We know it’s going to be a really tough game [against Manchester United] but we have to play with intensity and power. We know we will have chances, even though they’re a really good team.

“We have the chance to win for the first time at home this season and we have to do it, because the fans deserve it.”

Asked what personal objectives he would be setting for the second half of 2019/20, Deulofeu said he’s working hard to improve what he offers the Hornets in the final third.

“I want to keep creating chances and helping the team with one v ones and shooting,” he said.

“I know the most important thing is finishing the action and that’s what I have to improve, but I’m not worried and I know it’s going to come because I feel with power and with energy and I’m going to keep going in my job.”

First Team 20/12/2019

João Pedro: “It’s A Dream For Me”

By Kevin Affleck

João Pedro has described his move to Watford as “a dream” after he touched down in England this week to launch his Premier League career.

The 18-year-old arrived at Heathrow at lunchtime on Wednesday and was at the training ground yesterday to meet his new teammates and undergo the routine medical testing that all new signings go through. He signed a five-year-contract with the Hornets, which kicks in on January 1, but is not available to play until the Tranmere FA Cup game because of Premier League registration requirements.

“I feel motivated,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to play in the Premier League and now that I’m here I just have to make it happen. I’ve been resting [after the end of the season in Brazil] so now it’s a case of getting back into training as soon as possible at Watford.”

The São Paulo-born striker arrived with his family and will be leaning heavily on Heurelho Gomes as he bids to settle into life in Hertfordshire as quickly as possible.

“Having Gomes here will be important to me because of the language,” he said. “It makes it a lot easier and obviously he can help me adapt to it all. I definitely need to go shopping because it’s cold here. It’s really hot in Brazil so I need to buy stuff that’ll help me adapt to this cold. It’s only the second time I’ve travelled outside Brazil and the first time I left Brazil was to play a game and then go back. This time it’s a new city and a new, fantastic experience for me, a dream for me.”

Head Coach Nigel Pearson is excited about being able to call on the services of a player with obvious potential, but wants expectations to be managed in the acclimatisation period.

“Hopefully he will have a positive impact,” said Pearson. “Hopefully it will be a positive one. It’s important for him to settle in and it’s important we don’t heap too much pressure on a player of such young years. We know he is keen to get started and I’m sure he’ll get a warm welcome and get support from number of players and the club. Let’s concentrate on the first-team squad who need to go out and find results in the meantime. We are pleased to have him here and it’s important we don’t heap too much pressure on a young player.”