Heineken Champions Cup Highlights - Semi-finalsMay 15
Roy Hodgson admits Watford need points not performances
The Hornets now sit six points from safety heading into the final seven games.
Watford boss Roy Hodgson knows his side must turn promising performances into hard points to win their battle for Premier League survival.
After being beaten 3-0 at home last weekend, the 19th-placed Hornets now sit six from safety and having played more games than the two sides directly above them.
Hodgson feels while the players should take some positives from a second consecutive defeat, they need to turn those key moments in their favour to gain maximum returns.
“I think the belief is there. The performances even when we have lost have not been so bad that we have had no chance of winning those games,” Hodgson said.
“As a result, they realise if they continue to play in the same vein as they are playing, the chances to win will occur.
“During the last 11 games there have been some performances that I have been very pleased with, the problem is we are at the stage of the season in the dilemma of just needing wins and points.
“Playing okay or well doesn’t count for anything unless at the end of the game you are on the winning team.
“We are fully aware that has got to be our one and only goal – and we need to do anything we can to achieve it.
“That means making certain that each and every one of the players is putting in as much effort as they can muster.
“The opportunity exists for us and we are fully aware that unless we start getting three points from some of these games we are going to slip further behind the teams we are chasing.”
With seven games left, Hodgson is not about to waste any time trying to work out just what set of results could see them climb out of the drop zone come May 22.
“We need at least one more point than the team third from bottom; how many points that will be, I don’t know,” Hodgson told a press conference.
“We have just got to keep taking the opportunities that come our way because we are not dead yet, we are still alive and kicking, still hoping and believing that we can get out of it.
“We have to take every opportunity that comes our way to get points and hope the teams we are chasing don’t have similar fortunes.”
Watford will be without forward Cucho Hernandez, who was forced off during the first half against Leeds with what has been determined as a serious hamstring problem.
Samuel Kalu is carrying a minor ankle injury, which leaves Hodgson a bit short in attack.
Brentford, meanwhile, continued their upturn in fortunes with a 2-0 win over West Ham with Christian Eriksen again having a key role.
Former England boss Hodgson, though, warned against just trying to limit the impact of the Denmark playmaker.
“It is going to be very important, our strength in defending as a unit, to deny time and space and hopefully stop Eriksen getting too much of the ball,” Hodgson said.
“But it would be unfair on Brentford (to call Eriksen the only threat) because they are playing very well and are a very strong team unit.
“He has made them stronger, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that if we nullify his actions, the others won’t be able to step up and do a good job themselves.”