First Team 22/11/2019

Cathcart: “We Want To Carry On The Momentum”

As the Hornets prepare to enter a typically frantic December off the back of a first Premier League win against Norwich, Craig Cathcart is hoping for a similar festive period to last time Quique Sánchez Flores was at the club.

In 2015 the Golden Boys kicked off a run of five games unbeaten – including four successive wins – with victory in the final game of November. The fruitful spell included a hard-earned draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and a 3-0 drubbing of Liverpool at Vicarage Road.

“I remember it well, that was a key part of our season,” said Cathcart. “We picked up 12 points back-to-back and that was a big achievement – winning four games in a row in the Premier League is not easy.

“We’ve now got the first win, we want to get more but you just can’t look too far ahead, you just concentrate on the next game. If we do that there’s no reason why we can’t go on a little run again and get as many points as we can.”

Christmas marked the end of a prolific start to the season for the Hornets in 2015/16 and starting fast but finishing slow has become a common occurrence in recent years. This year Cathcart knows the team must flip the trend and end the season strongly.

“We’ve got ourselves into a position now where we’re going to have to do well over Christmas and we have to have a strong end to the season,” said the 30-year-old.

“It’s what we need to do, it’s what the lads want to do and it’s what everyone at the club wants to do. We want to pick up as many points as we can from now until the end of the season.”

Going into a match against Burnley, Cathcart thinks the 2-0 victory at Norwich will give the Hornets a boost but said the upturn in confidence at London Colney came long before the first league win.

“The atmosphere has been positive for a few weeks now, we’ve had good performances and picked up draws here and there,” he said. “In some of the games we were unlucky to draw and not to win. But it all came together at Norwich.

“It’s a big boost, it’s going to pick everyone up and we want to carry on the momentum now and try to get a win again against Burnley.”

The Clarets sit in the top half and boast an old-school front two of Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood – who each have five goals to their name. Cathcart knows it won’t be an easy match, but is ready for a battle.

“It’s always a tough game against Burnley and every time we play it’s close,” he said. “It’s always a tough game, always a physical battle, and with the way they play they’re really successful. We’ll expect a tough game but we’ve got players who can hurt them as well, so if we’re solid at the back then we can get a positive result.”

First Team 21/11/2019

Team News: Burnley

By Kevin Affleck

Troy Deeney and Ismaïla Sarr could be named together in the same Watford squad for the first time this weekend after Quique Sánchez Flores confirmed both took part in full training this week.

Deeney was named on the bench at Norwich City last time out and used the international break to further build up his levels of fitness and sharpness after being out since the game against Everton on the second week of the season.

Sarr was injured playing for Senegal against Congo, but he was assessed by the club's medical team when he returned early and he has been passed fit after what was deemed a knock.

Deeney injured himself against Everton and a week later Sarr was on the bench against West Ham United so the pair are yet to be in the same match-day squad.

“Sarr is okay,” said Sánchez Flores. “He has been training with us for two or three days, no problem. He looks well in training. He is ready.”

The captain is also edging closer and closer to being match ready.

“He feels much better,” said the Head Coach. “Little by little, he is progressing. He is ready and he wants to play, of course. He is wishing to go the pitch. It’s good news for us. He’s always good and understands perfectly what we feel, what we need, the necessities of the club and the team. He is able to transmit to the players the importance of every match. The presence of Deeney is very necessary for us.”

The availability of both Deeney and Sarr is a major boost for Sánchez Flores as “we still have some players recovering who are not quite ready”.

Domingos Quina (groin), Tom Cleverley (heel), Daniel Bachmann (hamstring), Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Sebastian Prödl (knee) and Roberto Pereyra (hamstring) are all out while Christian Kabasele is suspended. 

“We are happy with how they are improving,” said Sánchez Flores.