Under-23's 19/09/2019

Under-23: “We Are Looking To Learn From Every Game”

Hayden Mullins is looking for his side to quickly put into practise the harsh lessons they learned from the Leeds United game on Monday night (September 16) when they face Bristol City tomorrow (Friday September 20) at Clarence Park.

The Under-23 Lead Professional Coach saw his side overwhelmed by a Leeds side boasting England Under-21 international Eddie Nketiah, who scored twice, and a squad with more than 1,100 league appearances to their name.

The upshot was a 6-0 defeat and an abrupt end to the team's 100 per cent start to the season.

“It was a tough game,” said Mullins. “There was a big difference in experience, in pace and power and it was an eye opener for us. They fielded some very good Championship players and we just had to try and take what we could out of it.

“We had won our first three so we were going well and I couldn't say the boys didn't work hard on the night. It wasn't that they didn't try. We made a couple of silly mistakes and it was a tough ask for our boys against that side.

“It was good experience to see where we are at and where these lads need to get to. We won't come up against a team like that every week.”

Mullins will get an idea of what this new-look group are made of this afternoon when Bristol City come to St Albans. The visitors drew 0-0 with Leeds at the start of the month and have scored four goals in a game on two occasions already this season.

“We are just looking to learn from every game and for them to take on board the information we give them,” said Mullins. “We've got to learn from the Leeds game and take that into the Bristol one. That game has gone and now we move onto the next one.

“We know what Bristol do well but we want to concentrate on us and maximise what we have. It should be a good game and one that I'm sure the boys are looking forward to.”

HORNETS (v Leeds): Parkes; Balogun (C), Barrett, Spencer-Adams, Gordon; Crichlow, Wise (Lo-Everton 71), Whelan, Hungbo (Maclean 85); Hinds (Bennetts 40), Dalby. Subs not used: White, Trialist

Watford U23 v Bristol City U23, 1pm KO

Clarence Park, St Albans


Admission costs £3 and is free for Watford and St Albans City season-ticket holders.

First Team 19/09/2019

Sánchez Flores: “I Felt On Sunday We Are As One”

Quique Sánchez Flores believes his rejuvenated team does not have time to dwell on the uplifting events of Sunday as the challenges in the Premier League come so thick and fast.

The Spaniard helped restore some belief by choreographing a thrilling comeback at Vicarage Road against Arsenal that very nearly resulted in a most unlikely win. Sánchez Flores, though, has been keen to stress it was just a point, albeit a very good point, and that there is plenty of hard work to be done, starting with the trip to Manchester City on Saturday.

“We have good feelings,” said the Head Coach. “We need to make sure we don't go too much about this match as the next one is completely different. It is not a time to talk about how many shots or how many attempts we had. It is time to be realistic. We still need to change the dynamic – this is the first step and then change for the next opponent.”

Sánchez Flores has seen a continuation, though, of the uplift in spirit and performance he spotted in training during his first week. The players have been at it again in the sessions this week.

“The behaviour and performance of the players at the training ground is amazing,” he said. “They look really positive. We need good results to change the last bit but we are really positive and understand everything about how they played in the last match and how every match is different. I feel them happy and feel confidence with the way they are training and the energy they are using. They look fit. They have a lot of confidence after the last match.”

The Head Coach will still be without Craig Cathcart for the match at the Etihad Stadium but expects the key defender to return to training next week. Isaac Success will be out for a big longer after injuring his groin this week. But you won't find Sánchez Flores lamenting the loss of injured players, including his captain. It's about the whole being greater than the sums of its individual parts for him.

“One thing we are proving is that it is not just about the players or about the fans – it is about the environment where everyone thinks the same,” he said. “This is very necessary. What I felt on Sunday is that we are as one.”