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First Team

Hodgson on Watford: "We've got to be ready"

7 March 2020

Roy Hodgson believes his side will come up against a confident Watford side, following their stand-out 3-0 result against runaway league leaders Liverpool last week.

Indeed, Hodgson's men will also go into the game full of belief following two back-to-back 1-0 wins over Newcastle United and arch rivals Brighton & Hove Albion. He said during the pre-match press conference: "Both teams will go into the game with a degree of confidence, a degree of good feeling about themselves. It’s a bit of a derby, matches with Watford are always hard-fought. Our supporters are in for an interesting, and good encounter."

Asked what he can expect from a rejuvinated Nigel Pearson side, who were all but written off as relegation certainties at the turn of the year, Hodgson was full of praise for tomorrow's visitors. He said: "I’m expecting to see the type of performance from them that I saw on the TV on Sunday, where I thought they were absolutely excellent in every respect. They’ve had some very good performances as well. Yes there was a blip [in their results] which can happen with any team. It’s not easy to keep that curve going up and up and up.

"But I think they’re well organised, well managed, they’ve got very good players – I think they will come here tomorrow feeling good and confident, which they should do on the back of that performance and result, and we’ve got to be ready for that."

Palace sit in 12th place, nine points clear of Watford who have escaped the dreaded bottom three on goal difference alone. But Hodgson is all too aware that a run of results can have a huge impact in an extremely congested Premier League table. He said: "It’s nice to be in the middle area rather than the bottom area, that goes without saying. There’s a lot of football still to be played.

"Two good results do help enormously, they move you up the table very quickly – but two bad results can move you back in the other direction. Everyone here is aware of that – we’ve experienced both sides of the coin, and no words are going change a thing in that respect. What changes it is going into the field of play and playing well enough to get the wins that you need and hopefully deserve."

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