Under-18's 10/09/2019

Under-18: “I Hope It's A Lesson Learned”

The Under-18s' winning start to the season finally came to an end on Saturday (September 7) with a 3-0 loss away at Hull City, and Lead Coach Simon Clark wants to dispel complacency in his young Hornets side.

The match was goalless for over an hour on Humberside, but three late goals in a 12-minute spell gave the home side the win.

Watford started brightly, with Sonny Blu Lo-Everton firing over after just two minutes, and hit the woodwork twice when the game was still level.

“For the first 25 minutes we moved the ball really well, created really good opportunities, got in fantastic areas,” said Clark. “We didn’t take our chances, for a number of reasons. We had total domination against them and not once did we look threatened but we’ve allowed ourselves to play at a comfortable level. But comfortable does not unlock organised teams.”

Hull broke the deadlock after 70 minutes, doubled their lead three minutes later and added a third on 82 minutes to put the game beyond reach, which Clark puts down to his side taking their foot off the gas.

“Complacency kills, and it kills application and success and we’ve gone out and just played at a level below our best level,” he said. “Hull have gone from being totally outplayed in the first half and come into the game. They didn’t step on, we came off where we were. We weren’t at our levels.”

The young Hornets remain top of the Under-18 Professional Development League South with 12 points from five games, and the Lead Coach is focused on staying there.

“If you’re top of the league, you embrace it and understand why you are there but more importantly what you’ve got to do to stay there,” he said. “We’ve been working on our drive and our will as much as our technical ability and what we’ve done in games.

“They came off and they were absolutely gutted, but what they’ve got to do now is understand that feeling and understand the process. I hope it’s a lesson learned, because we’ve had a good start but now we want to go better than that.”


HORNETS: Baptiste (GK), Conteh, Maclean (Evans, 84), Sankoh, Matthews, Burchell, Harrison, Campbell (Manning, 45), Hutchinson, Lo-Everton, Trialist (Horsewood, 60).

Sub not used: White

First Team 09/09/2019

Gomes: “He'll Find This A Better Club Than Before”

Quique Sánchez Flores will fit right back into a familiar set up at Watford, but returns to a more ambitious club with a stronger armoury than the one he left in 2016, according to Heurelho Gomes.

Sánchez Flores arrived at London Colney this morning (Monday September 9) and was quickly reuniting with old friends and making new ones at the training ground. One familiar face was Gomes, who made 39 appearances and won the Player of the Season award the last time the new Head Coach was in town.

“I believe it is going to be easy for him to adjust and to understand as well,” said Gomes, speaking to watfordfc.com after training with Sánchez Flores again for the first time in over three years.

“He knows the club, he knows the training ground, he knows people that still work here behind the scenes, he knows the fans. Of course, this connection is good for us, we are a family club and this connection is very good for the fans; between players and them, between the manager and them.”

Sánchez Flores guided Watford to a comfortable mid-table Premier League finish and an FA Cup semi-final in his first season in charge, with the Hornets fresh from the Championship. Gomes was a key part of the team which gained promotion and held their own in the top-flight and thinks the resources at the Head Coach’s disposal now will allow him to push on quickly.

“I think the quality we have now is a much better quality than we had when he was here before,” said the goalkeeper. “The big change is the players we have here, and of course some facilities are better than when he was here the first time. But the most important thing is that he will find this a better club than it was before when he first came. The reception is always the same, the club never changes in this way, but the ambition of course is much higher than it was when he was here before.

“He was the one to lead us in our first season in the Premier League and we did something very special together. It’s great to have a manager like him back, especially in a situation like we are in at the moment. To have a manager who understands the club and the way the club wants to be, and a manager who understands the game as well.

“He’s not new to the competition, he knows how to do it, I believe in our hardest moments as well, because it was not easy to glue the team after we were promoted to maintain in the Premier League. It’s great to have him back, we did very good work together.”

Sánchez Flores held a team meeting with his new squad before taking them out for training with his coaching team this afternoon. He addressed old faces – such as Gomes and captain Troy Deeney – and new arrivals too. Gomes has already told players unfamiliar with Sánchez Flores that he expects the Head Coach to lead them to a great season.

“The players can understand that we have a manager who has arrived to get things right,” said Gomes. “We have a manager that is always trying to get the best out of the players. So, if they are in the right way, with the right mentality, it’s going to be easy for them to show themselves to him.”

The first training session was a case of ‘getting to know you’ according to Gomes, as Sánchez Flores explained how he wanted his new team to train and how he wants them to set up.

“Quique was normal, like he used to be,” said Gomes. “Intense, he likes compartments, he likes the team to be together. Especially at this moment I think we need the team to be together, both here [off the pitch] and on the pitch as well. This is very important for us.”