They came, they saw, they conquered. That was the story on Sunday afternoon when relegation embattled Watford travelled to the Vitality stadium to play Bournemouth. Goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure, Troy Deeney and substitute Roberto Pereyra gave the Hornets an emphatic victory over the host.
Despite the win, Nigel Pearson admits it’s “not season changing.”
Since he took over, the hornets have picked up 13 points from 6 games and climbed out of the relegation zone to raise hopes of avoiding relegation this season.
“There are so many games left, it would be foolish to think because we’ve got out of the bottom three that the job’s done,” he said. “It’s not a season-changing result but it was an important one.
“We talked very early on about how we’d have to have a substantial run at some point. We’re on a good run, but we probably need to win another six games, maybe more.
“We’ve put ourselves in a better position than we were in a few weeks ago and that’s all I’m prepared to say at the moment.”
Watford pressed high up the pitch forcing Bournemouth into errors that led to chances for Ismaila Sarr and Gerard Deulofeu but their efforts were well gathered by Cherries goalkeeper Mark Travers.
His goalkeeping error would then lead to the first goal of the match which came just before the break.
Troy Deeney got Watford’s second on the 65th minute while substitute Pereyra wrapped up the win.
Speaking with BBC Sports both managers expressed their view of the match;
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe speaking to Match of the Day: “Tough game, we battled and stuck to the game in the first half. It wasn’t a great performance from either team before half-time but the goal sucked the life out of us and gave them a boost.
“We needed to do better. We weren’t creative enough, similar to recent weeks, and the first goal is a hammer blow for us. It is a team thing and we didn’t execute what we wanted, put ourselves under pressure and conceded a poor goal.
“We all learn from those moments and the team has to take responsibility. It was difficult for us today, we had a strong team, good balance, so it’s disappointing. We are always concerned when we don’t win. We were desperate to do well. The first goal damaged us mentally and we didn’t recover. We are in a difficult moment and need to lift ourselves.”
Former Liverpool manager Nigel Pearson remains conservative and cool-headed;
Watford manager Nigel Pearson, also to Match of the Day: “It is a very big result, a great win and one the players worked very hard to secure. It is a very positive step in the right direction for us.
“We had to work exceptionally hard for it because there were times we didn’t play as well with the ball as we’d have liked. We have run away comfortable winners in the end, but it was a game we had to fight and protect our goal with a lot of resilience.
“We got the balance right today in doing what the game needed. It was a tougher game than the scoreline suggests but we thoroughly deserved the win.
“There is no magic formula, the players will drive it. We create the framework for the players to go and play – it is just about trying to maximise what we’ve got. I want to enjoy myself, even though there are times you probably think I don’t, I want to enjoy the challenge and it’s still going to be a tough call. There is an awful long way to go.”
Troy Deeney was the man of the match.
Watford have now moved up to 17th place while Bournemouth occupies 19th.