First Team 22/01/2020

João Pedro: “The Kindness Of People Has Helped Me A Lot”

João Pedro sat down with his countryman Heurelho Gomes to discuss adapting to life in England, making his debut at Vicarage Road and his high hopes for the future.

The Brazilian forward has settled in well since joining up with the Hornets this winter and said he has already become close friends with fellow South American Roberto Pereyra.

“I think the patience and kindness of people here, not just with me but with everyone, has helped me a lot. It has made me relaxed,” he said

“On many occasions I don’t know what they are saying to me, but they always try to explain, and if I don’t manage to understand, another person who speaks Spanish comes to help!

“So, I think that patience and kindness is what has made me feel comfortable and relaxed.”

The 18-year-old came off the bench for the Hornets’ FA Cup third round tie against Tranmere Rovers and is eager to get back on the pitch to show more of what he can do.

“I was very happy with my debut, I felt really comfortable too. I think my teammates gave me confidence and made me feel at ease, and I was really happy,” said João Pedro.

“It was a great atmosphere, but it was different [because] obviously, there is always nerves. But after my first bit of play at the beginning of the game, I got more comfortable, I felt more settled.

“I don’t think I feel as anxious ahead of the away trip as I did in the first tie, but we know this game will be tough.”

João Pedro has noticed the difference between Brazil and Hertfordshire both on and off the pitch, but is ready to get stuck in with the English game.

“I think that in Brazil the game is a lot slower, here the game is faster, and the space is tighter,” he said.

“But the only thing I think I need to get used to is breathing the cold air, which is something different for me. Coming from Rio de Janeiro, 40 degrees and to then come here and it’s four or five degrees, it’s really tough to get used to!”

First Team 22/01/2020

Foster: “We Had To Be Workmanlike”

Ben Foster did not hide his disappointment after a gut-wrenching last-gasp defeat at Villa Park, but insisted lessons would be learned and the team would look to come back stronger after a first real setback under Nigel Pearson.

“We’re very disappointed," said the goalkeeper. "Fair play to Villa, they battled and maybe it was a little bit naïve from us. We were undone with the last kick of the game, we had to be workmanlike and not pretty. It was just a bit naïve.”

The match could have gone differently had the Hornets taken one of their chances while in the lead, or had Tyrone Mings been sent off for a second yellow card for intentional handball in the second half.

“The lads were all saying 'why not look at VAR', as I could see from where I was it was deliberate handball,” said Foster. “But you can’t get involved or let it affect you, you have just got to get on with the game.”

A congested fixture list and threadbare squad has meant most of these players have been worked hard over the winter period. Foster noticed a few weary legs, but feels the improved form will not disappear overnight and expects a reaction going into the Everton match at Vicarage Road on February 1.

“We looked very tired at the end, we need to be alive for 95 minutes of the game. They were quicker than us in reacting on the edge of the box from that last free-kick,” he said.

“But we have raised our standards even when we do have blips. We have a good break now until the next Premier League game, hopefully we can get a few [of the injured] lads back and go again.”