Stefano Okaka says his cute flick for the equaliser today was not the first time he had scored a goal like that.
“I scored three or four times like this,” he told Sky Sports afterwards. “It was really good because I start my first game at home and scored. It’s amazing but it’s important we won as we lost two games. We are happy now.”
The menacing Okaka looked a real handful when he came on against West Ham (the other time Watford have come from behind to win this season) but a hamstring injury kept him out for nearly two months. He looked rusty on his first start, at West Brom last week, but it appears he was just blowing out the cobwebs.
“I know my quality and my teammates know my quality,” said Okaka. “I was injured for two months so it was not easy. It was difficult at the beginning but my teammates helped me.”
Troy Deeney is now without a goal for more than 12 hours but he had a crucial hand in the first goal, winning a towering header ahead of Ashley Williams. His search for his 100th goal goal goes on but he was more than happy to play a supporting role today.
“It’s good,” said Deeney. “The big man did fantastic today in only his second start. You can see we’ve got a real powerhouse on our hands.”
Deeney made sure Okaka’s second, a flicked header from a Jose Holebas cross, was over the line but he wasn’t about to claim it.
“I’m desperate for a goal but not so desperate to take that one,” said Deeney. “We’ve been working on set-pieces, both defending and attacking, so it’s nice when the hard work on the training ground pays off. Mine will come, it’s no stress to me. Individual goals can wait.”
Thierry Henry said Okaka’s goal reminded him of Kanu’s for Arsenal against Middlesbrough in 1999.
“That finish was amazing,” said Henry. “The way he played was very contagious. When you have a player like that leading from the front then the team have something to build on. He was fighting, never gave up and was at the start of everything. Forget about the goal, his workrate was great. It was a great header also [for the second goal].”