Brendan Rodgers spoke of his joy at the improvement Watford had made in his time at the club and the sound intelligence of their play as they defeated Swansea in what was their first loss in 16 games.
Speaking after the 2-0 victory Rodgers said: “Tactically the game is very important.
“We’ve got lots of players within this country who can run, who can work hard, who will fight for their lives and those who have big hearts – but you have to play with your brain and you have to understand the game.
“Tonight the players showed a great understanding of how to combat a very good side. We were strong.”
Tamas Priskin put Watford ahead after coming under some early pressure from Swansea.
Then, Tommy Smith added a second after Dorus De Vries saved the shot of full debutant Don Cowie – after that the Golden Boys showed calmness and an assured confidence in their performance.
“Tactically we were very, very good tonight and the clean sheet is very important. In the last three league games, that’s two clean sheets out of three” added Rodgers.
Swansea came to Vicarage Road with a big reputation as a footballing side flourishing in the Championship and Rodgers is a man who is a big supporter of what Roberto Martinez is doing in Wales.
Rodgers commented: “I have to pay credit to Roberto Martinez because how he’s got his team set up to play is how I’d eventually like to get this side playing here.
“They’re a couple of years down the line further on, for us the timeline is different because we’re fighting to ensure we stay in this league so our objectives are different.
“I know their 4-3-3 system inside out – I’ve worked and played it for a number of years.
“On the other side, I know how to play against it, tactically the players implemented that within the game and their work. How they functioned was very good.”
Despite this big confidence booster, the Northern Irishman still wanted more from the Hornets’ second half performance.
“I wasn’t overly happy with the second half,” said the former Chelsea Reserve coach.
“Even though we looked a threat breaking forward there is parts of the game that we need to develop – we’re 2-0 up so we need to control the game.
“These are the things that are difficult, when you’re down the bottom there’s a reason why.”
Finally, those inside The Vic will have noticed the coming together of players and staff at the end on the hallowed turf and we’ll leave it to the manager to explain things in his own words.
“The supporters were brilliant tonight, I must add that in the last couple of weeks I’ve really felt from the Burnley game onwards that there is now that connection between us all, which is very important.
“I’ve always said that I’m here on the side but I’m representing them – The Rookery End and the rest of the ground.
“We’re giving the crowd energy and they’re giving the team energy.
“The huddle was a symbol of our togetherness – no one here is bigger than the club.
“A manager or a player will never be bigger than here [Watford] – so it is a symbol of our strength as a group, which has a big reflection on our supporters.”
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