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First Team

Ward: We Gave Ourselves A Lot To Do

26 August 2018

Joel Ward was named back in the starting eleven on Sunday afternoon at Watford in place of the suspended Aaron Wan-Bissaka and came very close to getting a point for the side in added time when his close range header fell inches wide of the target.

In the fourth minute of injury-time a corner was awarded and from that set piece Ward saw his header go just wide of Ben Foster’s left hand post. The defender thought that the visitors gave themselves a big task to get anything from the match having gone two behind on 71 minutes.

“Disappointed not to get something from the game obviously and personally in the last seconds to miss that chance. Its one of those that has just glanced off my head and gone inches wide but I do think we deserved something out of the game but we started a bit slow at the start of the second half which allowed them to get a bit of momentum behind them and we gave ourselves a lot to do when we went 2-0 down.”

Even though Ward felt the opening Watford goal from Roberto Pereyra was a fine finish, the effort which saw the lead being extended was one which was a bit unfortunate for Roy Hodgson’s side to concede according to the Eagles right back.  

“It’s one of those ones which I am sure is a cross but its found its way in and that’s life really although we reacted well after that and got ourselves back in the game and maybe should have snatched a point right at the end.”

Apart from Joel, another enforced change at the back saw Martin Kelly coming in after James Tomkins had to drop out of the match in the warm up but Ward was never in doubt that his fellow defender would be ready for action.

“We have got that depth in the squad and he’s a great professional and always prepares as if he is starting because you have to and you never know what might happen in a warm up or first five or ten minutes of a game so if you are in the squad and on the bench, then you have to be ready to come on. He did brilliantly today and I thought he did really well.”

Ward was pleased to have the chance to be one of the two changes in the back line and on a personal and team basis was able to take positives, performance wise, if not with the final result, but now attention for the squad turns to the week ahead with cup action planned before a return to SE25.

“It was a steady game and I thought I did well, but its not just about my performance but also the team and on the whole we played well but there were a few moments which cost us but we tried our best to get back in the match and now dust ourselves down for Tuesday and Saturday, we must make sure we prepare well and get ourselves ready for a battle.” 

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