Pearson backs Deeney to fire Hornets to safety


Watford boss Nigel Pearson has backed striker Troy Deeney to fire the Hornets to Premier League survival this season.

Just over one month ago Watford appeared doomed to life in the Championship, but since Pearson took charge in December they have taken 10 points from their last four matches.

Indeed, Pearson’s side could move out of the bottom three for the first time this season if they win against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

Deeney, who has been at Vicarage Road for a decade, was sidelined for three months with a knee injury earlier this term, which was not helping their cause to pick up valuable points.

But after he returned to action at the end of November, he has scored three times, including twice from the penalty spot in victories against Manchester United and Aston Villa.

Pearson has long been an admirer of the 31-year-old, and attempted to sign him during his time in charge of Leicester, so clearly rates him very highly.

The Hornets boss has also said the player’s love for the club is clear, and he is capable of dealing with the pressure that will be placed on him to get the goals needed.

“I look at what Troy gives us in games. He is a difficult player to play against and he likes playing under pressure,” Pearson said.

“We have won penalties recently and it is clear that in those pivotal moments I don’t think for one second that he ever doubted himself. You need players who can play under pressure.”

Watford will leapfrog 18th-placed Bournemouth if they secure a third consecutive league victory on Sunday.

The Cherries are on a miserable streak of eight defeats from their previous 10 outings and sit just one point and one place above Pearson’s side in the table.