First Team 01/11/2019

Pereyra: “It's Not Time To Joke Around”

Roberto Pereyra is confident that goals and points are just around the corner as he bids to continue his fine individual form against Chelsea.

The Argentine is rattling along at one major goal contribution a game against the Blues, scoring three and setting up another in his four appearances against the team since he joined from Juventus. How the team need him to continue that hot streak on Saturday.

Only five goals have been scored in ten games, latterly because the priority has been shoring up the defence, but the Hornets are averaging nearly 13 shots a league game this season and Pereyra feels it is just a matter of time before one or two starting flying in.

“Yes, it's a bit frustrating as we are creating some great chances but we don't score goals,” he told Premier League Productions. “We are training hard in the sessions, at least twice a week to improve the attacking phase. Sooner or later it's going to come and hopefully it won't stop.

“We have improved a lot defensively but now it's time to improve the attacking phase as we need to score goals. We are working every day on this phase. We are not perfect yet but we are trying our best.”

Only the bottom three have conceded more than Chelsea so that may present a window of opportunity but, on the other hand, the Blues have won their last four league matches and have scored more goals than league leaders Liverpool.

“We know that we need to pay attention to their attacking phase as they are very strong and have good players,” said Pereyra. “We need to focus on our work. We know what we can do and hopefully it can be a great occasion for us. We really need to get these three points. We have a big game against Chelsea but we just need to keep working hard. We deserved the three points in previous games. They didn't come but I think we are very close to them.”

The team were so perilously close to a maximum haul against Arsenal and Tottenham. Pereyra takes heart from this, that the Hornets can go toe to toe with the big boys, and knows Frank Lampard will bring his side to Vicarage Road knowing they are in for a searching examination under the lights at Vicarage Road.

“It always helps to get results against the Big Six,” he said. “We played well against them all, apart from Manchester City – they are unstoppable. This gives us confidence for Saturday and will try to get the three points. Saturday is a big game and we need the three points. They do as well. But, as I said before, we are very close to this.”

Pereyra is doing his bit for the cause. He ran more than anyone else on the field against Bournemouth and recovered the most balls in Cherries' half. He also ran his socks off at Goodison Park, carrying the ball really effectively on the counterattack and Quique Sánchez Flores eventually took him off as he knows how important the schemer is for Saturday.

“Obviously to go out of a competition [in midweek] is not so good,” said the 19-cap Argentine international. “I am angry as I like to play in all the competitions. But it's time to focus on the Premier League now and the next game as we need points. It's not the mood we expected to have at the start of the season but it's not the time to joke around too much. It's time to get out of this situation.”

Sánchez Flores is the man tasked with turning things around and he has been working hard on implementing a plan to navigate the team out of trouble and up the table.

“I don't know him too much before,” said Pereyra. “Others have worked with him four years ago. He seems a normal coach and I have a normal relationship with him. He changed a lot of things at the training ground and the now the sessions are more intense. Tactically, he changed a lot. Step by step I think we are going to change the results.”

Ladies 01/11/2019

Ladies: Chichester City Preview

The Golden Girls will be looking to make it five straight wins as they travel to Chichester City Ladies on Sunday.

An impressive recent run has seen Watford surge towards the top of the table. Another victory at the weekend would see the Hornets reclaim top spot in the division.

Attempting to stop that from happening are a Chichester side who will be looking for their first league win in 2019/20.

Views from the Head Coach

It was an excellent October for Watford, winning every match and averaging more than four goals per game.

“I’m very happy with our recent performances and the results have been brilliant,” Clinton Lancaster told watfordfc.com. “We have spent a lot of time on our finishing and play in the final third, so it comes as no surprise that we have had a good goal return.

“It was frustrating not to play last week because we are on a good run and we want to keep going, we don’t want to stop.

“We have had a few knocks and those players have benefitted from the break, the likes of Jenny [Kikomeko] should hopefully be returning soon and that will only benefit us.”

With Crawley Wasps having played twice since Watford were last in action, the Golden Girls have dropped down to second, however Lancaster’s side will return to the top if we can take three points against Chichester.

“We have to keep winning, it’s as simple as that,” he explained. “If we keep doing so, then the league will take care of itself.

“I imagine the others are looking at us and where we are at, that will either add pressure or it will motivate them. However, we can’t focus on what the others may think, we just have to keep winning.”

It’s a trip to the South Coast on Sunday as Watford look to continue doing so. The Hornets have been flawless on the road in the FA WNL so far, winning four out of four, while scoring 15 and only conceding once.

“I will be expecting us to continue with what we have been doing and that is to be dominant with the ball and to be ruthless with our finishing,” said Lancaster. “We need to make sure we play forward at the right time and if we can’t do that, then we find other ways through them.

“We’re expecting a side that is desperate to win and teams like that are always a concern, as they will be incredibly motivated to beat us.

“The rewards for us are great and we need to keep that in mind. We’ve started the season very well and have put ourselves in a great position, that is our motivation to continue to win every game so we can push on further.”

Flashback

Watford 1-0 Chichester City (November 18, 2018)

After a disappointing result against Milton Keynes Dons in the previous game, Watford then had the task of taking on a Chichester side in fine form.

The visitors had won 11 of their 12 matches in league and cup to begin the season and were excelling in tight games, winning half a dozen by a one-goal margin.

Chichester had also been victorious in every away game, but that streak was soon ended as the Hornets took all three points with a fine team performance.

Watford took the lead just before the quarter of an hour mark. Danielle Scanlon was in the right place as an attempted clearance hit her and went into the back of the net.

It was a solid defensive performance throughout, with Weronika Baranowska’s only testing save coming from Hollie Wride’s free-kick.

A couple of good stops from Lauren Dolbear kept her side in it, but they couldn’t find a way to get an equaliser, as Watford survived more than seven minutes of stoppage time to secure a big win.

Team: Baranowska, Peck (Akerman, 76), Hill, Edwards, Huggins, Scanlon, Stojko-Down, Carid (Baker, 62), Ward (C), Bell, O’Leary (Afuakwah, 45).

Goal | Scanlon (15)

Hosts

There was plenty of activity at Chichester during the off-season, as a new coaching team was announced and also several changes in terms of playing personnel. They’ll be looking to now add their mark on what has been an impressive few years for the Lillywhites.

Promotion to the third tier was achieved in 2016/17 and they then consolidated in their first season in the Southern Division, finishing in eighth place.

That was built upon last season, as they impressed many with their performances. Chichester were challenging at the top for most of the campaign, but a disappointing period around February-March would prove costly.

Having guided his side to a third placed finish, Aaron Smith announced his departure in early May and then made the move to Southampton Women’s FC later that month. Chichester acted swiftly and soon announced their new manager, with former player Sadie Blakely taking charge.

With a change in coaching staff, the obvious moves with playing personnel followed. Not a single player from the starting 11 that took on Watford back in April has featured for them this season.

Of the 18 players who played more than ten times for them last campaign, only Gemma Simmonds, Sharna Capel-Watson and ex-Hornet Hollie Wride are still registered with the club, although the latter hasn’t played yet in 2019/20.

With a new look squad, it’s been a difficult season so far. They lost their opening league game and were then shocked in the Determining Round of the FA WNL Cup by Cambridge City. The losing run continued as they lost their next four in the league, although they did have a difficult schedule, playing Yeovil Town, Crawley Wasps, Oxford United and Cardiff City.

Chichester finally managed to get their first point with a draw at Gillingham, as only a goal in second half stoppage time preventing them from getting all three.

Losses to Portsmouth and Keynsham Town followed, as they remain without a win in the league. There has been some recent success in the cup though, as they triumphed 4-2 against Swindon Town in the FA WNL Plate.

Last time out

Gillingham 0-4 Watford

Team: Wilson, Hill, Beckett, Meiwald, Rolandsen, Chandler, Stojko-Down (Scanlon 78), Vyse (Richards 73), Fatuga-Dada (O’Leary 65), Ward (C), Carid.

Goals | Ward (58), Carid (64, 77), Hill (84)

Keynsham Town 2-1 Chichester City

Team: Foster, Bloomfield, Burke, Capel-Watson, Cook (Staple, 65), Fox, Laczkovszki, Phelps, Simmonds, White (Lake, HT), Wild.

Goal | Capel-Watson

Information

Chichester City Ladies v Watford FC Ladies
FA WNL
Sunday 3rd November
3pm
Chichester City FC
PO19 6AP