Heurelho Gomes, who must have started to worry about what was going to happen next when he boarded the team bus for an away trip after what happened at Leicester and Aston Villa, acknowledged he had to be at his very best late on to ensure another journey home was not spent staring out the window wondering when his luck was going to change.
The Brazilian has spent years picking the ball out of the net at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground after Jermain Defoe kept sticking them past him but he foiled his old teammate this afternoon by tipping a deflected 81st-minute goalbound effort round the post for a corner. It was up there with his best saves this season, possibly eclipsing the one he made at Bournemouth.
“I know him,” Gomes told Hornets Player. “I used to train against him. He’s a great player, one of the best I played with. I had to be on my top form to make that save.”
Quique Sanchez Flores had never been to the north east of England before. He’s now won at St James’ Park and the Stadium of Light, two of the most awkward venues on the Premier League circuit.
“Yes, I think it’s not easy to play against Sunderland,” he said. “I think it’s a very tough team. I think it’s difficult because they had a very good run in the last few matches. So we are ready to play against a very tough team. But our start in the first 25 minutes was really, really good. The possession, creating attempts, and after that we lost different balls. We started playing in the middle, passing just in the centre to the strikers.”
He now gets the chance to pit his wits against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Sunday and is keeping those slip-ons of his firmly on the ground.
“We are just thinking about the next match,” he said. “Thinking about just the next opening. We don’t want to have other distractions, we don’t want to think about other targets. So in this case, for us, we have tried to avoid since the beginning relegation, this kind of negative goals that can eliminate the confidence of the players. So we are always working hard. We are working in a positive side, in a positive atmosphere. That is why I think the players have very good, high confidence and they can show everyone they are working very well.”
“We are really pleased with the performance of the players. We are completely focused on the target and the level of the confidence is very high. They are always thinking about how we can improve, and my expectations before every match is very high. But all players come and try to prove to the expectations.”
Below is a selection of the tweets from Watford’s first-team squad to the 1-0 win at Sunderland.