Harry Kewell

Harry Kewell reflects on “tough times” for Watford Under-21s after QPR defeat

Harry Kewell has reiterated his commitment to the job of coaching Watford’s Under-21 team after their tough run of results continued this afternoon with defeat away at Queens Park Rangers.

Sean Murray nodded Watford into a half-time lead which Watford should and would have increased either side of half-time had Alex Jakubiak, Bernard Mensah, Dennon Lewis and Nigerian trialist Ola Adeyemo not been so wasteful. Murray cracked one long-range effort against the underside of the bar. The Hornets were made to pay the ultimate price for their profligacy when Eusebio Bancessi, a Portuguese forward on trial from Kenny Jackett’s Wolverhampton Wanderers, scored twice in as many second-half minutes.

Harry Kewell
Pictures by Sean Hinks

The defeat came hot on the heels of the 5-0 thrashing at home to Crystal Palace on Monday and was the fifth Professional Development League 2 South defeat in six matches for the under-21s.

“I love it,” said Kewell when asked if he was starting to feel the strain. “I wouldn’t change it for the world. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. These are the tough times and this is what football is all about. We’ll get there. I’ll make sure of that.”

Harry Kewell
Pictures by Sean Hinks

Watford were in control and largely kept a QPR side, featuring former Arsenal left-back Armand Traore and Watford loanee Samba Diakite, at arm’s length until Kewell replaced Jakubiak and Mensah with Monday’s game at home to Barnsley in mind, replacing them with Rhyle Ovenden and Brandon Mason. Bancessi, on as a substitute himself, scored two in the blink of an eye to leave Watford shell-shocked.

“We could have been three or four up,” said Kewell. “Alex could have had two or three, same with Ola. Bernard had one and Dennon could have had one. Sean should also should have got more than one, yet we’re sitting here with a 2-1 defeat. If you look at our games the only thing missing is finishing. It’s not as if we don’t finish in training. I work a lot on finishing. It’s a shame as we were excellent in the first half. We had three or four great chances to score and then we had two or three great chances at the start of the second before they even started to get into the game. They just don’t help themselves sometimes, which is a shame as they are a great bunch of lads.”

QPR: Hudnot, Butler, Robinson, Diakite, Wise, Kpekawa, Prohouly, Manning, N’Guessan, Grego-Cox, Traore. Subs: Shodipo, Brzozowski, Hamalainen, Bancessi.

Watford: Simpson; Young, Johnson (capt), Hall, Martin; Lewis, Murray, Stewart, Mensah (Mason), Jakubiak (Ovenden 70), Adeyemo. Subs: Cook