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.”