Andre Gray's second-half strike saw Everton suffer a 1-0 defeat on the Portuguese's return to Vicarage Road.

Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest

read Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest

news Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest

Info Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest

view Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest
about Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest
  • 2019-02-11 06:10:38 1 years ago
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Marco Silva has applauded former club Watford for creating a fiery atmosphere on his return to Vicarage Road.

Silva, whose position as Everton manager is under mounting scrutiny after Watford consigned his side to their third consecutive Premier League defeat, was given a hostile reception on Saturday.

First, Hornets club captain Troy Deeney stoked the fire by calling on his team-mates to "kick the s***" out of Everton.

Then, Al Wilson's 1960s classic, 'The Snake', was among Watford's pre-match song selection at Vicarage Road.

Silva, who was sacked by Watford 13 months ago amid suggestions he had attempted to engineer a move to Everton, also faced a series of derogatory chants from the home supporters.

"It was clear the strategy during the week and for sure it was not a players' strategy or a manager's strategy," said Silva. "It was something more than that.

"To be honest with you, my opinion is that it was a good strategy when you create something for everyone to all go in one way.

"Eighty to 90 per cent of the people don't really know the truth – what I am telling you is that I was really welcomed by the people who know me and my work at this club – all of them.

"To know more or less the truth is what is important to me."

Everton have lost nine of their last 13 matches in all competitions, and on Sunday, it was reported that Leeds manager Marcelo Biesla has been identified as a potential replacement for Silva.

The Toffees are ninth in the table, four points adrift of Watford, having played one match more.
Everton enjoyed greater possession and more shots than Watford, but appeared a side devoid of confidence.

"Yes that is true, and it is not good to see," added Silva. "We created enough chances to achieve a different result.

"Some were in the six-yard box and we didn't score.

"It was lack of confidence in some moments, but if we put the ball in the net we can start to achieve the results and the confidence will change in the team."

For Watford, they have enjoyed a steady season under Javi Gracia and can afford to have one eye on a seventh-place finish and qualification for Europe.

Andre Gray, who was rarely used by Silva during his tenure at Watford, scored the winner after 65 minutes, his first in the league since September.

"We just want to test ourselves and see how far we can go this season," he said. "We are going to try and win every game."

Four people were arrested after an altercation outside Vicarage Road following the match left two men needing hospital treatment. The injured men sustained cuts and bruises to their faces, according to
Hertfordshire Constabulary.

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Silva applauds Watford's 'good strategy' after defeat at fired-up Hornets' nest

Benitez: Almiron mentally ready for Premier League challenge

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is confident record signing Miguel Almiron is mentally ready to be pitched into the heat of Premier League battle.

The Paraguay forward, who turned 25 on Sunday, completed a deadline day switch from MLS side Atlanta United as Benitez's pleas for financial support from owner Mike Ashley finally paid dividends.

Benitez knows it will take Almiron time to adapt to a very different brand of football and he is equally aware of the physical demands that will place upon a player who is rich in talent, but slight in stature.

However, the Spaniard is confident the playmaker is ready to take on the challenge, starting with a possible debut at Wolves on Monday evening.

He said: "When you talk with him, he is ready, mentally he is ready and he says he wants to play and is available. You can see him in training, he is very dynamic, he is always involved, so that is fine.

"But it is the Premier League and the physicality and all those things, you have to cope with that. We will see how he feels and the other players are doing.

"We are bringing in a player who was in the MLS, so we know he needs to adapt. But he has the pace, the runs and the ability.

"We will see if he is strong enough to do the same thing as he was doing in the MLS on the ball and without the ball."

Almiron has been recruited to add creativity to a side which has proved defensively resilient, but at times short of inspiration, and his invention could prove crucial over the remaining 13 games of the season with the Magpies having seen their five-point advantage over the bottom three evaporate in the last fortnight.

Benitez said: "He is different to the players we have and that is what we were looking for, running in between the lines and behind the defenders and scoring goals and making passes."

The Magpies manager has resigned himself to the race for survival going all the way to the final game of the season at Fulham, although he is not convinced 40 points will be required to stay up this season.

He said: "Hopefully we can get a result against Wolves, Huddersfield and Burnley. Maybe Fulham, the last game, will be the most important game. Hopefully not, but you never know.

"For me, 36-38 points [will secure safety]."

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Wijnaldum pleased to help Reds get back to winning ways after defying illness

Georginio Wijnaldum urged Liverpool to "keep it going" after the Dutchman dragged himself off his sickbed to help the Reds' get their title bid back on track with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth.

The Holland midfielder had been struggling with sickness in the 48 hours leading up to Saturday's match, resulting in being ordered by the doctor to stay away from the team hotel the night before the game.

And even though he was still affected during the clash he played a key role, including a brilliant lob over Artur Boruc for Liverpool's second.

"Thursday night I had a tablet from the doctor for my knee. It was a tablet that could induce stomach pains," said Wijnaldum, was named man of the match.

"I took it and I had a pain and thought it was from the tablet. In the end I was vomiting and everyone was a little bit scared.

"I didn't train on Friday and I didn't sleep at the hotel either because they thought I might infect other players.

"The manager called me and said 'Do you think you can play?' I said I was as positive as I can. In the morning I was still weak and had diarrhoea.

"The tablets helped a lot but even at half-time I had to run off to get to the toilet. I was like 'Oh no!'. I ran inside and I managed to control it!"

Wijnaldum's return to the side after missing Monday's draw at West Ham made a significant difference against Bournemouth.

However, what was more important was getting back to winning ways after back-to-back 1-1 draws against the Hammers and Leicester had left critics questioning their mettle for a fight.

Liverpool's win saw them return to the top of the Premier League, although Manchester City regained first place on goal difference following Sunday's thumping 6-0 win over Chelsea.

"We had two draws in a row and that didn't feel that good," he added.

"But if we had been told that at the beginning (of the season) you will have this kind of points (65) everyone would have taken it.

"It could be better but we must appreciate where we stand.

"You can see the improvement. You could see at the beginning of the season we improved. We just have to keep it going."

Georginio Wijnaldum brilliantly lobbed home Liverpool's second goal in their 3-0 win over Bournemouth
Wijnaldum brilliantly lobbed home Liverpool's second goal in their 3-0 win over Bournemouth (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool head to Marbella for a warm-weather training break as they are not involved in next weekend's FA Cup, meaning they return to action in the Champions League at home to Bayern Munich on February 19.

Wijnaldum is optimistic they can realistically fight on two fronts.

"We have to see how it is going to work. I think we can play both," he said.

"You never know but a lot of times it goes well. Last season the Champions League went well and we dropped a lot of points in the league.

"But I don't think it was because of the Champions League."

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