Watford Squad Updates
From players feeling down-and-out after their loss to Everton to players returning and being named to the team ahead of their match with Brighton.
According to Danny Welbeck, the atmosphere inside the dressing room following their loss to Everton was depressing. Heading into the half-time break, the Hornets were supposed to be up 2-0. However, four minutes before the whistle was blown, two goals were scored by Everton’s Yerry Mina, sending both clubs into the mid-match break tied. You’d think that after Fabian Delph was sent off the pitch for a red card, the Hornets would easily be able to end the match. Despite that, Everton’s Theo Walcott was able to score a goal in the game’s dying minutes, ending the match in a 3-2 defeat to a ten-man Everton.
Welbeck was excited to be playing again after recovering from an injury he sustained during the match against Tottenham back in October. However, the result of the match made him feel bittersweet. ‘The manager said a few words and everyone was really down’, said the player. ‘We need to look at it, analyse it and see where we went wrong. We've got to learn from these mistakes and make sure it doesn't happen again. These unfortunate moments happen. You go through so many ups and downs in life and you just want to try and keep them to a minimum. We'll come back stronger’.
‘I've just wanted to be on the pitch doing what I can to help the boys and help the club get the results that we want. It's difficult watching from the sidelines. I'm happy to be back involved and to try and make some impact for the team. It's difficult having been out through injury. It's great to get back out on the pitch, it's a good moment for me, but it's a bittersweet day. I'm buzzing to be back out on the pitch and back involved with the lads, but the result is not something you can be happy about’.
Their defeat to Everton was the second consecutive Premier League match which Watford lost despite having the lead early in the game. Aston Villa drew the first defeat in this fashion when they won 2-1 from behind last month. Speaking about the upcoming match against Brighton, Welbeck said that it’s important for the club to learn from their mistakes so that a similar result can be avoided. ‘It's difficult to take the defeat considering the position we were in’, he said.
‘There are lessons we've got to learn from and see how we can come back from these disappointing moments. How you deal with these up and downs will test your character and make you who you want to be. It's a massive match next week, but we've got to play the game and not the occasion. It's important to prepare well tactically, mentally and physically. We want to get points from every single game’.
In similar news, Tom Cleverley returned from injury in a bid to help them the club with their Premier League battle for survival. He has been sidelined for more than 100 days after suffering an injury in Watford’s draw against Bournemouth last October. However, Cleverley is due to make his return just in time for the Hornets Premier League match against Brighton this Saturday evening. The club’s manager, Nigel Pearson, will use winger Ismaila Sarr sparingly after he suffered a hamstring injury against Tottenham nearly three weeks ago.
‘Tom Cleverley has trained with us continually now so he is in contention for Brighton’, said Pearson. ‘We will assess Sarr tomorrow and make a decision on that. It is always a danger to put players at risk with soft-tissue injuries. With sprinters, and Ismaila is certainly a sprinter, there is more danger. With any injury like that, you have to calculate the risk and decide whether the risk is worth taking. We have got 13 games left so it is prudent to make sure that when players like that are back, they stay back’.
Ever since Pearson was hired as the club’s manager, he injected new hope into the club, showing them that they stand a chance at surviving relegation and continuing their plight in the Premier League. An inspired club was able to momentarily lift themselves out of the relegation zone but defeats to Aston Villa and Everton pulled them back to the 19th spot - just two points from escaping the drop zone.
‘We have an opportunity at the weekend to get back to winning ways and that is what we will try to do’, said Pearson. ‘It is a very important game because there are a number of teams involved in the relegation battle and we are certainly one of them. It is important we put as much pressure on other teams around us, and we do that by getting our own results right. The realism of being involved in a relegation battle is that you have to get over setbacks pretty quickly’.
Additionally, Watford has recently updated its team to include Adalberto Penaranda. He was recently acquired from KAS Eupen. Pearson said that he was happy to have Penaranda back in his lineup of players. He described the player as ‘talented’ and ‘likeable’. He also did not comment on who decided to cancel his loan at Eupen. ‘I don't need to clarify anything’, said Pearson.
‘He's one of our players and he's back with us at the moment and he's in a training programme. I've spoken to him through an interpreter, he's a very likeable lad, he's a very talented boy and we'll see what happens over the forthcoming weeks. Because he's one of our players, he'll be treated in exactly the same way. We'll give him the support that every other player that we've got gets, but there's no doubt he's a fabulous talent’.
Words: Carlos Corpus