Watford open talks over £8 million Ligue 1 star

Watford have contacted Ligue 1 side Rennes over a possible £8 million move for Abdoulaye Doucoure, according to the Daily Mail.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who has been capped by France at Under-21 level, reportedly drew interest from Chelsea last summer.

The Hornets will need to offload players if they are to bring in any new signings from overseas, however, as Premier League clubs can name a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players in a 25-man squad.

Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri, who started Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup defeat to Preston North End, have been linked with moves away from Vicarage Road with several more likely to follow before the transfer window closes.

More to follow…

Flores vows to correct Watford’s mistakes

Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores says his side will learn a lot from their Capital One Cup exit.

Marnick Vermijl’s eighth-minute goal was enough for Championship outfit Preston North End to earn a shock 1-0 win at Deepdale on Tuesday.

The Hornets’ lacklustre performance was rounded off by the dismissal of debutant Miguel Britos on 78 minutes.

“We’re disappointed with the result,” Flores told the club’s official website.

“In the second half we had reached a point where we were close to the goal and we had two or three very clear attempts in different situations, but in this moment we received the sending off of Britos and after that it was very difficult to play 10 against 11.

“We tried to work hard, and we have learnt a lot. We tried to use this match to check players because it is very important to know how they are involved, so for us it is good information we have from the game.

“Some players haven’t played an official match in a long time, only in pre-season, so it is important to know this kind of information because it is different to the information we receive every single day in the training ground.”

Flores made whoilesale changes to his starting line-up that drew 0-0 against Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.

And the former Atletico Madrid boss said he found out a lot about his squad.

“The information we take after this match is good because we can correct the players,” added the Spaniard.

“When the players are playing every weekend it’s different because they feel involved in the team, they know the mechanism of the system and the shape.

“But sometimes when you are watching the match as a player outside the pitch it is a little bit different, it is a bit complicated sometimes to work well on the pitch.

“We will correct all the mistakes, and when you lose sometimes it is very easy to learn.”

Player Ratings: Watford v Southampton

Jacob Culshaw analyses each Watford players’ contribution during the 0-0 draw with Southampton at Vicarage Road on Sunday, giving each one a rating out of 10.

Heurelho Gomes: Gomes didn’t have too many difficult saves to make, but looked assured when he was called into action. The most notable of which saw the Brazilian deny Graziano Pellé at his near post in what was a comfortable afternoon. He will be important player for Watford this season. 7

Allan Nyom: Another energetic display from the full-back, who looked very tidy defensively, more so than he did against West Brom in fact. Nyom showed good composure and was rarely caught out of position, while also supporting Jurado by making several attacking runs down the right-hand side. 7.5

Sebastian Prödl: The imposing Austrian turned in another solid performance at the back, reducing arguably one of the best aerial players in the league (Pellé) to scraps. 6.5

Craig Cathcart: Cathcart and Prödl have looked extremely comfortable in their first three Premier League games together and hopefully this will continue throughout the season. He’s quickly becoming Watford’s ‘Mr Dependable’ but will have Uruguay international Miguel BrIitos nipping at his heels from now on. I find it hard to believe that the former Blackpool man won’t hold down a regular spot, however. 7

Jose Holebas: Holebas didn’t feature against West Brom, so was making his home debut against Southampton. The Greece international clearly likes going forward and saw a sweetly-struck effort that looked to be heading for the bottom corner blocked by his team-mate Troy Deeney.  He was substituted at half-time by the new signing Alessandro Diamanti, which saw Ikechi Anya pushed to the left-back position. 6

Etienne Capoue: Capoue showed great desire and determination throughout Sunday’s game. His athleticism is commendable and, alongside Behrami, he broke up play well before attempting to kick-start the transition from defence to attack. The Frenchman spurned the best chance of the game on 68 minutes when Deeney’s flick on from a Diamanti corner made its way to him at the back post, but he could not keep his effort down when it looked harder to put over than score! 6.5

Valon Behrami: Behrami was a rock in the middle of the park. The Switzerland international never shied away from a challenge and worked hard throughout, which has seen him emerge as a bit of a fan favourite since joining the Hornets in the summer. 7.5

Ikechi Anya: The Scotland international gave, in my opinion, one of his best performances in a Watford shirt. He has noticeably raised his game a level last season and was a real menace down the flanks, committing defenders and running at them with pace. Anya also showed his versatility by playing two different positions. 8.5 (MotM)

Odion Ighalo: Ighalo was very ineffective against Southampton and seeming failed to understand the role he was playing; not knowing whether he was supposed to be ahead of Deeney or behind him. Missed a golden first-half chance at the far post which he (like Capoue) won’t want to see again. 5.5

Jose Manuel Jurado: A bit of a let-down, compared to his last home game for the Hornets. The previous week the Spaniard was running at the full-backs with pace and commitment, on Sunday less so. Although he linked up well with Nyom, Jurado didn’t look natural playing out wide and always looked to go on his right foot which became predictable. For me, it was a disappointing performance. 6

Troy Deeney: A tough afternoon for Watford’s captain. Deeney had half chances blocked Jose Fonté, and didn’t really have a sniff at goal. He was extremely isolated and surely would have benefitted from the introduction of Vydra who could have run in behind the Saints’ defence. 6.5

Subsitutes

Alessandro Diamanti: Looked to get involved, at every opportunity on the left and delivered some inviting balls into the box. He looked out of match fitness, so he couldn’t have survived more than 45 minutes and it became increasingly apparent as the game went on. 6

Ben Watson: It was written in the stars when a ball came to him on the edge of the 18 yard box and it sat up on the half volley; unfortunately he skied it into Row Z. Didn’t really have time to make an impact in what was an uninspiring substitution by Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores. 5

Southampton point pleases Flores

Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores declared himself happy following his side’s goalless draw against Southampton on Sunday, despite the fact that the Premier League newcomers are still looking for their first win of the season.

The Hornets were forced to settle for their third straight draw, while it was also their second consecutive stalemate at Vicarage Road.

However, Watford boss Flores was upbeat after the match, particularly as the Saints had to change their style of play to keep his side at bay.

“It was really difficult to play against Southampton as they changed the plan, shape and system. They think about consolidating the space a little bit,” Flores told Sly Sports.

“OK, that is not bad for us if other teams are thinking ‘we can match them’, so it was difficult to find space.

“We had to think again how is it possible to attack better for us. It was difficult to create spaces, to create at times clear chances.

“But finally, we have a couple of attempts, the most important of them during the match, and we tried to win. We draw, the team is unbeaten, we are confident and we are going to grow in the future.”

Watford ‘working like a family’ says Flores

 

Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores declared himself happy with his side’s start to the 2015-16 Premier League campaign, despite the 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion at Vicarage Road.

After their 2-2 draw at Everton last weekend, the Hornets put in another strong performance but ultimately failed to take their chances in a game that they perhaps deserved to win.

Flores told Sky Sports: “I was pleased with the performance of the players. I think we had control of the match but maybe we missed a little bit with an end product to score a goal.

“But I’m really happy because we had control. It was very difficult to break West Bromwich Albion down and when you put a lot of players together in a block it is difficult.

“We played well. We tried to find the space and we switched play really well. We crossed the ball and I think we did everything we can do.

“At the moment we are really happy with the players and we are very competitive. It’s our first year in the Premier League and we are expecting for the next few months.

“I am very happy with our introduction to the Premier League. I can show my worth to this historic club in England.

“With the feelings I have with the fans and the players, we are working like a family and I am very happy in this kind of work.”