First Team 31/01/2020

Pussetto: “I Want To Show My Skills”

By Kevin Affleck

Ignacio Pussetto returns to the scenes of his remarkable goal-line clearance tomorrow determined to show what he also has to offer at the other end of the field.

The Argentine made an instant impact after signing from Udinese by hooking a goal-bound effort from Erik Lamela off the line in the dying minutes of the game with Tottenham Hotspur. It was a remarkable piece of defensive play and preserved what could turn out to be a vital point for the Hornets.

“I didn't expect that, especially for a striker,” said Pussetto. “I was happy to help the team. No-one could believe it because it was so close to a goal so everyone was happy. During the game I didn't realise the importance of what I did, but after the game I did and I'm glad I was able to help the team.”

His defensive work would come as no surprise to Udinese fans. During a season and a half in Serie A, no forward won more defensive duels than Pussetto. Now, though, the forward, who can play on either flank or through the middle, is keen to show what he can do at the other end.

“I want to show my skills,” he said. “I'm very happy to be here. I've always liked the Premier League and I hope to adapt as quickly as possible and adapt to the club. I've always watched the league – it's amazing. I didn't know anyone here, but I've played against players in the Premier League so I know some of them. I want to keep playing even more. It's difficult as I have to adapt, but I want to show my skills.”

Pussetto, 24, has joined a team on an upward trajectory and looking to move away from danger. The process started with a sequence of four wins from five games and an unbeaten home run of five matches.

“We need to stay in the league and escape from this difficult situation,” he said. “It's a difficult challenge, but we have a good squad and we are ready to face this challenge. We just need to keep going. When I first got here I wanted to help the team away from the relegation zone. In the next years we want to aim for Europe, I think we have the squad to achieve that. The club and the team has done well over the last five games. We just need to keep going. The players have a good mentality to get through this situation. All together we are going to get through this.”

That is Nigel Pearson's mantra, one where the collective is more important that any individual. The Head Coach has only lost two of his eight Premier League games, winning four and transforming the feel around the place.

“He's a great manager,” said Pussetto. “He asked me a lot and all the coaching staff are really helpful. I have a good relationship with the Spanish speaking players. I hope to adapt to the language as soon as possible so I can speak to everyone.”

Pussetto will, if necessary, be able to converse with Carlo Ancelotti, Everton's new Italian manager.

“I know Ancelotti,” said Pussetto. “I have played against his teams two or three times. His teams like keeping possession of the ball. Everton are the same as us and come from a good period and good results, but we are playing at home and we just need to show our skills and get a good result. We need to do what we have been preparing for. It's going to be a difficult game for us. We'll see who is the best.”

First Team 31/01/2020

Match Pack: Watford v Everton

As the Hornets prepare to host Everton at Vicarage Road in the Premier League, here is everything you need to know about the fixture...


INFO

Watford v Everton
Premier League
Vicarage Road
Saturday Feburary 1, 3pm GMT

HOW TO FOLLOW

  • Live audio commentary of the match will be available at watfordfc.com and via the official Watford FC app HERE.
  • Find live coverage and behind-the-scenes content on our social channels!

OFFICIALS

Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Lee Betts, Richard West
Fourth Official: Keith Stroud
VAR: Jonathan Moss
Assistant VAR: Dan Cook


TEAM NEWS

Danny Welbeck and Will Hughes will be “in the squad” for the Hornets this weekend according to Nigel Pearson. However, Ismaïla Sarr (hamstring), Kiko Femenía (hamstring), Tom Cleverley (Achilles), Daryl Janmaat (knee) and Sebastian Prödl (knee) are unavailable.

Richarlison will be fit for the Toffees despite missing the last two games due to a knee injury, while Alex Iwobi (hamstring) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (groin) are also available. Jean-Philippe Gbamin (quadriceps) and Andre Gomes (ankle) are still out.


OPPOSITION FORM

Since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, Everton's form has taken a positive turn, with 11 points picked up from six games. The Italian has opted to play two up top, with Richarlison (eight league goals) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (10 league goals) leading the line. Despite the resurgence, the Toffees' last league game ended in disappointment as they managed to draw against Newcastle United despite leading 2-0 in the 93rd minute. Defender Florian Lejeune scored an overhead kick in the 94th minute to give the Magpies hope and then equalised a minute later.


HEAD TO HEAD

Overall:

Won 5, Drawn 4, Lost 21

Last Six:
Oct 2019: Everton 2-0 Watford (Carabao Cup)
Aug 2019: Everton 1-0 Watford (Premier League)
Feb 2019: Watford 1-0 Everton (Gray) (Premier League)
Dec 2018: Everton 2-2 Watford (Coleman OG, Doucouré) (Premier League)
Feb 2018: Watford 1-0 Everton (Deeney) (Premier League)
Nov 2017 Everton 3-2 Watford (Richarlison, Kabasele) (Premier League)


GOLDEN FLASHBACK

December 10, 2016 – Watford 3-2 Everton: The Hornets secured a memorable victory over Everton in 2016 courtesy of a Stefano Okaka double and a Sebastian Prödl header. Everton took the lead at Vicarage Road through Romelu Lukaku after 17 minutes but his goal was later cancelled out by a superb backheel flick from Okaka. Prödl then converted a whipped José Holebas cross to give the Hornets the advantage after an hour and Okaka extended the lead with a header five minutes later. A late second for Lukaku was not enough to deny the hosts a deserved victory.


PLAYED FOR BOTH 

Gerard Deulofeu

The Spaniard first came to the Premier League on a loan spell to Everton in July 2013, where he made 25 appearances and scored three goals. Deulofeu later returned to Merseyside on a permanent deal from Barcelona, only to impress his previous club enough to buy him back two years later. The forward joined the Hornets in 2018, originally on loan, and has made 54 appearances since. He became the first Watford player to score a Premier League hat-trick after he netted three times against Cardiff in February 2019.


WHAT ARE THEY SAYING? 

Nigel Pearson:

“After a couple of difficult results, the players have been excellent. That is a decent indicator, but we've got to back it up with a good performance at home.

“We have to make sure our own performance gives us the best chance of winning that game. You can't wait until the latter stages to put a run together. We have had a reasonable run of results that has put us back in contention, but the situation we find ourselves in means there is still an awful lot of work to be done.

“My mantra, in terms of what I'm looking for, is to get as close to maximum as possible in every game. If we do that, there is a good chance of winning and that's what it's about. The most important thing, first and foremost, is to make sure we get the performance right. If we get that as close to perfect as possible, we've got a great chance of winning games.”

Carlo Ancelotti:

“It will be a tough game, they are playing really well with strong motivation in the last games. They did really well, they beat Manchester United and drew with Tottenham at home.

“They're a difficult team to play against, they defend really well, they are really dangerous on the counter-attack. We are going to expect this kind of game. We have to be ready, prepared, and we have more possibility to win if we play well.

“The new manager is doing a fantastic job, they were almost already relegated and they have won a lot of games and now they are fighting.”