Roy Hodgson urges Watford to restart their push for survival against Leeds

Burnley’s midweek win droped the Hornets back to second bottom of the table.

By Press Association Published: 8 April 2022 - 11.18am

Watford boss Roy Hodgson knows the team must start from “point zero” when they bid to restart their survival push against Leeds.

The Hornets were pushed back to second bottom of the table after relegation rivals Burnley secured a late 3-2 win over Everton on Wednesday night.

Watford now sit three points from safety, but have played a match more than both the sides above then.

Despite the complexities of just how the survival battle may play out over the closing eight games, Hodgson wants his side totally focused on the here and now.

“Every game you go into it from point zero – they want to win and have the capabilities of winning the game, as they have shown recently by winning two matches back to back,” Hodgson said.

“But we want to win too and we believe we also have the capability.

“It is really just a question of having prepared the team as best as we can, we think, to help them face the challenges that Leeds are going to pose for us.

“We have just got to hope that we can bring it off on the day and give that performance which we need if we are going to get points.”

Watford were beaten 2-0 at Liverpool last weekend, coming out on the wrong end of a controversial VAR decision which saw Fabinho score a late penalty to seal victory.

Despite the defeat, Hodgson felt his team had shown enough to give him cause for optimism

“I need a similar performance, that is what I really need,” the former England boss said.

“Reactions are when you feel your team has done badly or you feel your team has not worked hard enough or hasn’t played in the right way and you want to see something totally different.

“That is where I think I would use the word reaction, but I don’t think I want to use the word reaction after what I have seen from the team at Southampton and Liverpool.

“I would like to see a lot more of the same and of course I would like to see us being a bit more fortunate in front of goal and creating a few more goal chances.”

Leeds had looked set to be dragged into the relegation scrap after a poor run of form under Marcelo Bielsa.

However, with new American coach Jesse Marsch now at the helm, they have put together a three-match unbeaten run.

“Since Marcelo Bielsa took over Leeds, and now Jessie Marsh has come in, we have seen a Leeds side that is very competitive,” Hodgson said.

“We have seen a Leeds side that had a fantastic season last season and looks like they are pulling well away from the relegation zone this season.

“So that is going to be regarded as a great success for Leeds United Football Club.”

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