Silva | “We Need To Continue In This Way”

Marco Silva wants his Watford side to transfer their cup form into the league tomorrow and pull off their first Premier League double of the season.

The Hornets showed signs against Bristol City of recapturing something close to their best form, scoring three goals for the first time since Newcastle away and also keeping their first clean sheet since that memorable afternoon at St James' Park. The FA Cup win was just the shot in the arm the team needed after a challenging run of results. 

The Head Coach is not getting too carried away by the win over the second-string Robins, but he was encouraged by the nature of the thoroughly professional performance and believes it should stand them good stead for the visit of Southampton. 

"We showed progress in the FA Cup and we need to continue in this way," Silva said.

"We were really serious in the cup game and we respected ourselves and the competition. We need to approach this game in the same way as we did against Bristol. We need to stay strong and stay focused as they have quality individual players. We know they haven’t achieved the results of late but they are a good team and it will be a tough game."

Southampton have only won one of the last 10 league matches but Silva will not be taking the Saints lightly. He knows, after all, that Huddersfield came to Vicarage Road without an away win and an away goal since the first day of the season.

"We analysed out opponent and we know they feel pressure," he said.

"They will come here to play strong and do everything to take the points. It is our obligation to do the same. It's a really important game for both teams and both teams will be doing everything to win the match. It’s a good opportunity for us to take three points against a good team. Our form is not the best and we need to prove again that we are in a good way."

The Hornets were in rude health in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, storming to a win at St Mary's that was more comfortable than the 2-0 scoreline suggested. It was arguably their most complete performance of the season.

"We performed really well there," said Silva. "We were compact, we played good football as well. They know our team well and what’s important is to play well, enjoy and show a desire to win the match."

Silva added there are no fresh injuries but that Younès Kaboul, Kiko Femenía, Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes, Miguel Britos, Isaac Success and Craig Cathcart are all still sidelined. 

Watch the full pre-Southampton press conference at the top of this article - free to view.


Silva | “He Built The Club”

Marco Silva wants his team to mark the anniversary of Graham Taylor's passing with a fitting performance against Southampton at what is bound to be an emotional Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Silva was asked first about the team news at this afternoon's press conference but the Head Coach, completely unprompted, opted to kick off proceedings with his own tribute to the greatest manager in the club's history. He felt it was the only place to start. 

“It's a really important day for the club, for us, for the fans and for his family as well,” said Silva. “What he achieved at this club was amazing. He built the club with Sir Elton John and it's important we start with him because this is really important for us as a club.”

Silva knows his football history and he has done his research on the transformative effect GT had on the Hornets in two separate heady spells. He appreciates the lofty position the club now finds itself is largely down to the foundations laid down by GT.

“Each club I'm working at I like to understand the story of the club, what happened in the past and to respect the story and respect important persons in the club's history,” he said. “I will work every day to improve the club.”

Marco Silva in conversation with Tom Cleverley

The Head Coach feels the players will not need reminding of the significance of the day and that the pursuit of three valuable Premier League points should provide enough of a carrot on Saturday.

“I can use everything I feel is the best to motivate our players,” said Silva. “Our best motivation is our job. People who work in football are doing what we love, what is our passion. It’s a fantastic job. It’s a big motivation. We must work hard to win the game.”

It's perhaps fitting that Saturday's opponents are Southampton, the team against whom GT masterminded one of the club's most famous results, the 7-1 League Cup win over the Saints at a disbelieving Vicarage Road in 1980. The Head Coach would take a fraction of that entertainment tomorrow. 

“It's important for me and the players to do everything to win the game,” said Silva. “We hope on this important day that we can win the match. If fans can enjoy the football [then this is better]. I expect big support from our fans. It important to support our team for every minute. If they do that everybody in the team feels stronger.”

Watch the full pre-Southampton press conference at the top of this article - free to view.