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Quique: ‘Deeney has had to fight for days like this’

Quique Sanchez Flores says Troy Deeney has “fought his whole life” to play in the Premier League and is now relishing his chance to have a crack at the big time.

Deeney has taken a circuitous route to the English football’s top tier but the Birmingham-born striker, alongside strike partner Odion Ighalo, is taking the Premier League by storm. Deeney’s powerful header in front of the Holte End this afternoon was as sweet as it gets for a Blue Nose.

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“I have the impression that he enjoys a lot every single match,” Sanchez Flores said. “I know I’ve only been with Deeney this year but I know about him in the history in England. He’s played in a lot of categories as well as the Premier League but he fight a lot in his life to achieve results and play at a high level.

“Probably, probably [he enjoyed his goal more]. But it is normal when you come back to one team for something like this you try to win always.”

Deeney has a knack of proving his critics wrong and, after netting his fourth of the season at the place where it all began, he is cutting the figure of a fearsome Premier League marksman. In an age where playing a lone striker is fashionable, the Hornets captain and Ighalo are proving quite a double act.

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“It’s amazing the connection they have always in the match,” said Sanchez Flores. “Because they are able to play long ball, when we play on the floor. We have the possibility to play in different ways with these strikers but for me the balance of these strikers is not just that they score, they can play as well. for me it is amazing what a difference they bring. It is amazing how they can reduce space and give help to the rest of the team. So that is why we are always defending with 11 players because Ighalo and Deeney are always helping.”

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Deeney would be the first to tell you that he hasn’t always been a striker of this pedigree. He’s come a long way since he signed for the club from Walsall for £500,000 in 2010.

“I learn every day,” he said. “I’m with top quality players, all internationals, and I’m obviously not an international so if I can’t learn off these people and if I’m not challenging myself every day, then there’s no point in me playing football. So I’m enjoying myself. Days like this make it all worthwhile, you know, the hard graft that I put in. But I’m the same, I’m just Troy. I’m happy, I’m down, I’m the same as any other person. When things aren’t going well, I’m angry with the world. When things are going really well like they are today, I’m going to have a drink with my mates and I’m going to enjoy it.”