Craig Cathcart conducts his interviews in the same manner he plays on the pitch. They’re no-nonsense, consistent and, from a club standpoint, safe.
The defender will never cause controversy when speaking to the media but it was telling that, after Watford’s 4-0 defeat to Arsenal, Cathcart let his guard slip ever so slightly in saying that perhaps a few members of the Hornets’ squad have taken Premier League safety for granted.
It was at the back end of February that a 0-0 draw with Bournemouth moved Quique Sanchez Flores’ side onto 37 points. They were comfortably clear of relegation. It seemed job done.
But four successive league defeats have followed and while there is certainly no shame losing to the likes of Manchester United, Leicester City, Stoke City and Arsenal, it is the manner of Watford’s performances, particularly in the last two matches, that is worrying.
“Maybe in a few of the lads’ minds things are settled [in the Premier League] and they’ve put their feet up a little,” Cathcart said after Watford’s defeat at the Emirates. “We can’t do that. We can’t be below 100 per cent if we want to win a Premier League game. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for us. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy run in but we’ve got a few games left and we want to get to 40 points and then beyond that.”
Watford hadn’t been beaten by more than three goals all season prior to their trip to the Emirates yesterday. But they were two goals behind by half-time, with Arsenal running riot during the opening 45 minutes.
Sanchez Flores had hauled off Etienne Capoue after 40 minutes and then substituted Odion Ighalo at half-time. The need to take such drastic action suggests his key players are not pulling their weight.
“It’s a long season and players are going to have dips in form,” Cathcart said. “We’ve just got to pick each other up, carry on and continue to work hard. If you look over our performances most of them haven’t been too bad. The last game against Stoke was probably the worst and today was very difficult too. We can’t get too down about it though. We have to keep a level head and need everyone at 100 per cent if we are to win matches. We want safety as soon as possible. Every week we say the same thing; we want to go out, win the game and make sure we’re safe.”