Thursday 21 March 2019

Foster: Beach break on back-burner until best-ever finish is secured

Watford are also in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup next month.

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster says Javi Gracia’s Hornets side are capable of securing a best-ever Premier League finish (Simon Galloway/PA)
Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster says Javi Gracia’s Hornets side are capable of securing a best-ever Premier League finish (Simon Galloway/PA)

By Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport

Ben Foster has promised Watford will forego thoughts of the beach this summer to focus on securing the club’s best Premier League finish.

Watford thrashed Cardiff 5-1 on Friday night to reach 40 points – the magic number that is supposedly needed to guarantee top-flight survival – and move into seventh place.

The Hornets are on course for their best Premier League campaign, eclipsing the 13th-placed finish recorded in 2015-16, and former England goalkeeper Foster insists there will be no let-up after their biggest win of the season.

“There’s a lot of teams that get into our position, pull the handbrake up, and think about the beach already,” Foster said.

“But there’s absolutely no chance of these players wanting to do that.

“They’re so hungry for wanting to do more. One of the big drives from the start of the season was not just surviving and doing the minimum.

“We wanted to push it to the next level and we feel that we’ve got the squad to do that. Some of these players are worth £40million and £50million.”

Gerard Deulofeu might well be in that category after the Spanish forward provided further evidence of his natural talent at Cardiff.

Deulofeu became the maiden Watford player to score a Premier League hat-trick, and the first Hornet in the top flight since Mark Falco 33 years ago, with some top-class finishing.

“I don’t think Gerard’s fulfilled his potential yet, which is frightening really when you see how good he is,” Foster said of a 24-year-old who cost Watford £11.3m from Barcelona last summer and who has also played for AC Milan, Everton and Sevilla.

“He’s got that ability when he does go through one on one to sit you down as a goalkeeper.

“He fakes to shoot and then puts it in the corner. He’s got so much ability and is lovely to watch.”

Watford have lost only once in 11 games since Boxing Day and also have an FA Cup quarter-final to look forward to.

Javi Gracia’s side will play host to Crystal Palace next month, with a place at Wembley up for grabs.

“The cup is massive for us,” Foster said. “Having that cup run really keeps our strength in depth firing and everybody interested.

“The fringe players know they might have a chance of a game in the FA Cup.

“It keeps the standards really high in training and that is what is driving us on.

“At times when we play like that, when we’re firing and popping it like that, they look incredible from where I stand.”

Cardiff had been chasing a third successive top-flight victory for the first time since 1961 after wins over Bournemouth and Southampton.

But manager Neil Warnock was left to survey the wreckage of a disastrous night, saying: “We have to bounce back again now.

“We’ve had it for the last two years. We keep getting knockbacks and people writing us off.

“But we’ve got to get over the disappointment of this in the next 48 hours, and make sure we’re ready against Everton on Tuesday.”

Press Association

The Left Wing: Why Irish fans shouldn't lose faith and how Joe Schmidt can turn things around for the World Cup

In association with Aldi

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport