First Team 15/04/2019

Janmaat: “It’d Be Something Really Special”

As somebody who has previously played in both the Champions League and Europa League, Daryl Janmaat knows qualifying for European competition would be something special for Watford.

With an FA Cup final around the corner and seventh place in the Premier League still up for grabs, the Hornets could feasibly be making a first appearance in Europe since the 1983/84 season.

And while Janmaat warns it’s important Watford don’t get carried away, the Dutch right-back believes it would be an achievement worth celebrating.

“For the club it’d be something new and it’d be really special,” he said. “It would be a great achievement and a good thing to celebrate, but I believe we can’t look too far ahead of ourselves.

“There are lots of teams around seventh place so if you want to achieve it that way you have to do a really big job in the last games.

“There are so many teams around so you know for sure you’re going to need a lot more points if you are going to be in the top seven.”

Javi Gracia’s side have already set a new club record points tally for a Premier League campaign and are one of two teams in the running for FA Cup glory. 

Janmaat reckons Watford’s consistent form throughout the 2018/19 season, combined with a sense of belief within the squad, have been key to their success so far.

“I think the main difference this season has been the consistency. This year we are much more consistent than the last two years,” said the former Newcastle and Feyenoord full-back.

“Previously we lost a lot of games after Christmas but we haven’t done that this year; we keep pushing and we keep getting results. We can’t win every game and of course you’re going to lose sometimes, but consistency is the key at the moment. 

“Everyone is believing that we can achieve something special and I think that’s the difference this year. Javi has been a big part of it too. As the coach he sets the tone really well and the team sees the benefits of that.”

First Team 14/04/2019

Pereyra: “Now We Can Talk About Europe”

Roberto Pereyra insists Watford’s focus has switched back to the race for Europe after the highs of their Wembley exploits last Sunday.

The Hornets return to Premier League action after their success over Wolves when they welcome Arsenal to Vicarage Road in front of the Sky cameras on Monday night.

Having beaten Fulham in their previous league outing, Watford sit in 10th place in the table but only a point off seventh-placed Leicester City.

Goals from Abdoulaye Doucouré, Will Hughes, Troy Deeney and Kiko Fermenía helped Javi Gracia’s men set a club-record of 46 Premier League points against the Cottagers and Pereyra insists the focus is now on building on that haul.

“It has been a special week,” he said. “It was an historic result against Wolves but we need to be focussed on the Premier League.

“It has obviously been a little bit hard to switch our attentions to Arsenal but everyone knows how important these next few games are and what we need to do.

“Now we can talk about Europe, but we know that we are in a fight. I think it’s a concrete opportunity for the club to get into Europe this season and we need to fight for it.

“We know how strong Arsenal are. But we are preparing to play a great game and to take advantage of their weaknesses.

“We are very confident now and we know we can play a good match.”

Argentina international Pereyra made a blistering start to the current season, netting a brace in the opening day 2-0 win at home to Brighton, and raced to six goals for club and country by the end of October. 

However, he has not scored since a Boxing Day strike against Chelsea.

Yet the former Juventus schemer is enjoying playing his part for the Golden Boys and says much of that is down to Hornets chief Gracia.

“I am very happy for this season,” he added. “I am playing in all the games which is what I wanted.

“This season the team is doing well pushing for Europe and reaching the FA Cup Final.

“Javi is a great professional and works really hard. He helps all the players and gives us confidence, which is the most important thing.

“I would like to score more goals, but I am quite relaxed because I know they will come. It is not a big problem for me.

“I just try to keep focussed on what I’ve been doing and if I can do that, the goals will come for me.”