Jokanovic hails ‘important step’ for the Hornets

Watford head coach Slavisa Jokanovic hailed his side’s performance as they beat 10-man Nottingham Forest 3-1 to maintain their hopes of achieving automatic promotion.

Odion Ighalo and Matthew Connolly gave the Hornets a 2-0 half-time lead and, after Gary Gardner pulled one back for Forest following Kelvin Wilson’s red card, Almen Abdi restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion late on to make sure of the points.

“I have to be happy and it was a big three points and a very important step for us,” Jokanovic told Sky Sports.

“We scored a quick goal, which was vital and then we played with confidence.

“There was a 20-minute period in the second half when we didn’t do want we wanted to do, but we eventually got the ball back and scored a third goal.”

Jokanovic admitted that his side needed to show resilience after Forest had Wilson sent off, adding: “It’s not always easy to play against 10 players and to put the game under control. They scored a goal and they started to believe they could draw the game.

“We arrived here under pressure after last night’s results. Forest are a tough team and this stadium is not the easiest to play in and it was a good step for us to come through.”

On the chase for the title and promotion, he said: “It’s nice competition for the supporters, but I try to keep calm and in control of my team and support my players. We have to keep positive in the next three matches.”

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