Tuesday 24 September 2019

Marco Silva focused on Manchester United clash as Watford return to form

Watford manager Marco Silva is focusing on the game against Manchester United
Watford manager Marco Silva is focusing on the game against Manchester United

Marco Silva is refusing to look too far ahead as he attempts to extend Watford's encouraging start to the Premier League season.

Silva's Hornets sit in eighth place after Saturday's hugely impressive 3-0 victory at Newcastle, their second successive league win after a run of three defeats.

The degree of difficulty will increase markedly over the next week with Manchester United due at Vicarage Road on Tuesday evening ahead of Tottenham's visit on Saturday.

The Portuguese manager, linked recently with the vacancy at Everton, insists he can only consider one game at a time.

He said: "We will see what will happen. We are not thinking about the next two or three games, we are thinking about the next.

"We will do our best to get a good result at home in front of our fans. It will be a tough game for us, but we can play with confidence."

Watford will take a great deal of confidence from their performance on Tyneside, where they dismantled the Magpies with the minimum of fuss and could have won even more comfortably had striker Andre Gray remembered to pack his shooting boots.

They went ahead within 19 minutes when Silva's decision to target full-back DeAndre Yedlin's propensity to charge forward at every opportunity paid off for the first time. Marvin Zeegelaar was allowed time and space to pick out Will Hughes, who finished with aplomb.

When Yedlin inadvertently turned home Zeegelaar's cross on the stroke of half-time, the game was effectively over. All hopes of a fightback by the home team were ended when, with Yedlin missing in action once again, Richarlison crossed for Gray to slide home at the near post with 28 minutes remaining.

If Silva and his players left the north-east celebrating a job well done, their Magpies counterparts trudged home in a sombre mood.

Rafael Benitez has made no secret of a belief that his squad is deficient after two frustrating transfer windows. It remains to be seen whether a proposed takeover happens in time for the Spaniard to strengthen in January - or indeed, at all - as he buckles himself in for what looks likely to be a second relegation fight in three seasons.

If Yedlin was the Newcastle fall guy on Saturday, it was not all his fault.

He is the only regular first-team player with genuine pace and provides a vital outlet down the right.

However, with Benitez having opted to play two strikers in a 4-4-2 formation and abandon the more pragmatic 4-2-3-1 approach, they were far too open to prosper. The latter shape had provided extra protection for his defence when Newcastle put together back-to-back wins over West Ham, Swansea and Stoke.

They head for managerless West Brom on Tuesday evening, and Benitez knows things will be little easier there.

He said: "For us, every game will be very difficult, as we have seen with Watford and we will see against West Brom.

"It doesn't matter the name of the other team, it will be tough for us."

PA Media

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