Friday 27 April 2018

Quique Sanchez Flores keen to give squad players a chance

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores is keen to give squad members a chance to shine before the end of the season
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores is keen to give squad members a chance to shine before the end of the season

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores has promised there will be changes against West Ham as he gives all of his players the opportunity to impress ahead of next weekend's FA Cup semi-final.

The Hornets, promoted back to the Barclays Premier League last season, are within touching distance of guaranteeing their top-flight status for another year following Saturday's 1-0 win over West Brom.

Ben Watson scored the only goal of the game at The Hawthorns but victory was made possible by two penalty saves from Heurelho Gomes. It moved Watford on to 41 points, 11 clear of 18th-placed Sunderland with five matches remaining.

With survival all but assured, Flores' side travel to West Ham on Wednesday night for their next league game before making the short trip to Wembley to face Crystal Palace.

The Spaniard claims it does not make his job any easier selecting a team to play at the Boleyn Ground.

He said: "It's very difficult. We analyse West Ham, it's completely different to West Brom, it's another game and of course away again.

"It's very difficult to play against West Ham but trying again to come back to our best feelings, trying to defend well, and to change a lot of players because I promised yesterday before training, I said to the players I think practically all of them are going to play in these two matches. I need to know how they look before the weekend.

"But it's difficult because I am not sure it (41 points) is enough or not, but what is important is that we keep positive.

"We need to improve, we can improve, we have to play five matches more in the Premier League and the semi-final and it is important to win."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis has backed Saido Berahino to bounce back from his spot-kick problems.

The 22-year-old became only the third player to miss two penalties in a Premier League game, joining Juan Pablo Angel (2005) and Darren Bent (2010), when his efforts were both saved by Gomes.

"I was really confident Saido would score. H e'll be stronger for it," said Pulis.

"He's a good player and it happens, it's a cruel game at times.

"It was certainly cruel for Saido and for us as a football team."

Asked if he would consider taking Berahino off penalty duty, Pulis added: " No not at all.

"Strikers miss penalties, they miss chances. But good strikers always want to go up there and try again."

Press Association

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