First Team 01/10/2019

News: Deulofeu & Cleverley Reach Appearance Milestones

Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley were both recently presented with awards by the Premier League for reaching appearance milestones.

Deulofeu made his 100th Premier League appearance on the opening day of the season, while Cleverley made his 200th top-flight outing when he scored for the Hornets against Arsenal in a 2-2 draw earlier this month.

Cleverley also reached another milestone recently, coming off the bench in Watford's 2-1 Carabao Cup victory against Swansea City to play his 100th game for the Hornets.

In an in-depth interview with matchday programme THE HORNET, which can be read in full in Saturday's Sheffield United edition, Cleverley spoke about reaching his milestones.

“I don’t keep track of milestones like that myself but my Dad tells me about that sort of thing all the time,” said Cleverley. “I think he must keep a spreadsheet or something! They’re obviously things I can be proud about but I’ll look back at them more when I retire.

“It’s more important to live in the present now. As soon as I hit 200, the first thing I thought about was getting to 300. If I can play most of the games over the next three years then I can get another 100.”

Cleverley has now played more matches for Watford than any other club, including Everton and Manchester United, and was delighted to have reached 100 appearances for the Hornets.

“It’s a great thing for me and I’ve seen the club go through a 10-year transition,” said the midfielder. “I think the ambition that exists here is the main reason why we’re all really disappointed to be where we are at the moment. It’s not where we should be and not where we strive to be. We do enough hard work to make me confident that we can get out of this small little bump in the road.

“My favourite memories from the first time around are QPR at home when me and Lloyd scored. Sheffield Wednesday away as well, that was a big game and I scored a free-kick. I scored on my debut against Forest and with my Dad being a Forest fan that made that one very nice.

“Since coming back it’s the two goals really – and by that I mean Arsenal at home in 2017 and the goal at Palace away that won the game for us after my injury. I’ve had lots of good memories and there are still plenty more to make.”

First Team 30/09/2019

Cleverley: “Stick With Us”

Tom Cleverley’s message to Watford’s supporters after another Premier League defeat was clear – the Hornets are working as hard as ever to turn around the form that has seen them post just two points from their first seven games.

“Stick with us. It’s not a work-rate issue, hopefully the fans can see that,” said the midfielder, speaking after Saturday’s 2-0 reversal at Wolves.

“Maybe at times there’s been a lack of quality and maybe a lack of intensity defensively but stick with us, we’ll keep putting the work in for you and we’re working for our performances to improve.”

Twelfth-placed Sheffield United are next up for the Hornets, and Cleverley says they’ll be leaving no stone unturned on the training pitch this week ahead of an important match at Vicarage Road at the weekend.

“We’ve got to work even harder than we are now. We know we’re good enough to compete in this league – maybe last season a few of the level games went more in our favour than they are at the minute – but you’ve just got to stick together at these tough times,” he said.

“We’re not even a quarter of the season through yet but we’re all working and striving to be better footballers than what our league position reflects at the minute.

“No disrespect to Sheffield United because they’re a really competitive side, but we have to be really at it next weekend. We’ve been in the game long enough to know that next Saturday’s a huge game.”