Watford captain Manuel Almunia praises Hornets discipline, character and team spirit after Leicester City draw

Watford Observer: Manuel Almunia applauds the Watford fans after the match at Leicester City. Picture: Action Images Manuel Almunia applauds the Watford fans after the match at Leicester City. Picture: Action Images

Manuel Almunia believes Watford are “in a good way at the moment" and insists the Hornets should be pleased with Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Leicester City, despite conceding a last-minute equaliser.

The result at the King Power Stadium means the Golden Boys have now lost only two of their last six games in all competitions, which included two other difficult trips to Nottingham Forest and Manchester City.

Watford are now 14th in the Championship and 12 points away from the play-offs but Almunia believes there are reasons to be optimistic with 18 league games to play.

“The team is doing better,” said the Hornets captain, who suggested last month the team may lack leaders in the dressing room.

“The team is showing discipline, character, team spirit defensively and a good desire to get a result. We still have time to improve and we're in a good way at the moment.”

He added: “We are just focused on doing better every day, in training and in games, we can only look forward and try to keep this mentality and this concentration for 90 minutes.

“We need to keep the spirit, the team has been brave recently and I hope things will continue to get better.”

Danny Drinkwater’s superb strike in injury time denied Watford all three points at Leicester and the home side almost sealed a dramatic victory when David Nugent went close with the last kick of the game.

Moments before Daniel Pudil had also prevented a winner with an excellent interception and Almunia admits losing the game would have been too cruel to bear.

“It was disappointing to concede late but if they scored again in the last second we would be crying so we have to take the positives from the result,” he said.

“We would have taken a point at the start of the day and looking at the last action of the game, it was scary to see, they had the chance to score and for the game to finish.

“We would have killed ourselves if they had scored and Daniel [Pudil] was very brave to deny them another chance as well.”

Leicester, who are 11 points clear at the top of the Championship, only had three shots on target in the game and Watford looked comfortable for the majority of the second period.

Almunia believes the Hornets perhaps defended too deep late on in the match but says the only disappointment is the timing of the equaliser, rather than the result.

“It was difficult but the shame was that they scored at the end. If they had scored 30 minutes into the second half we probably would have been happy with a point so it’s positive,” Almunia continued.

“We were comfortable but we fell back to defend our goal which is dangerous because then any ball can be dangerous or we can make a mistake or anything can happen.

“But it’s normal, they are a great team, they are first in the league, they were playing at home and they were putting pressure on our box.”

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Comments (10)

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11:11am Mon 10 Feb 14

JohnnyBarnes says...

Love this bloke.
Love this bloke. JohnnyBarnes

11:53am Mon 10 Feb 14

mattymashup says...

We should go for the jugular when we are up in our games...put on another striker and make the opponents worry about us for a change. We have enough quality to score against anybody imo
We should go for the jugular when we are up in our games...put on another striker and make the opponents worry about us for a change. We have enough quality to score against anybody imo mattymashup

11:57am Mon 10 Feb 14

JohnnyBarnes says...

mattymashup wrote:
We should go for the jugular when we are up in our games...put on another striker and make the opponents worry about us for a change. We have enough quality to score against anybody imo
Couldn't agree more pal.
[quote][p][bold]mattymashup[/bold] wrote: We should go for the jugular when we are up in our games...put on another striker and make the opponents worry about us for a change. We have enough quality to score against anybody imo[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more pal. JohnnyBarnes

12:03pm Mon 10 Feb 14

LoveKeithDublin says...

As decent a bloke as Almunia is, I think him being captain is partly to blame for our mental weakness and talent for conceding last minute goals.

This interview with Troy and Fitz (whilst tongue in cheek) is actually quite telling - http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=aMneH2fLe
lY. They say the players can't understand what he's talking about in team talks. Hardly inspiring!

Also, if the person you look to for inspiration during tough times is someone right back on your own goal-line, it's not a surprise you'll end up dropping so far back and encouraging pressure. I'd much rather a central defender or midfielder driving the team up the pitch.

On a final note, Almunia gave up on that Drinkwater shot as he hit it - if Almunia had dived and used his hands (rather than leading with his head, with his hands tucked into his body!), I think he might have saved it.
As decent a bloke as Almunia is, I think him being captain is partly to blame for our mental weakness and talent for conceding last minute goals. This interview with Troy and Fitz (whilst tongue in cheek) is actually quite telling - http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=aMneH2fLe lY. They say the players can't understand what he's talking about in team talks. Hardly inspiring! Also, if the person you look to for inspiration during tough times is someone right back on your own goal-line, it's not a surprise you'll end up dropping so far back and encouraging pressure. I'd much rather a central defender or midfielder driving the team up the pitch. On a final note, Almunia gave up on that Drinkwater shot as he hit it - if Almunia had dived and used his hands (rather than leading with his head, with his hands tucked into his body!), I think he might have saved it. LoveKeithDublin

12:04pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Harry's Bar says...

Almunia talks a good game but I'd like to see him going full stretch for shots even if he can't quite reach them rather than just giving up. I hope I'm wrong but I think his confidence is wafer thin and another major rick may not be too far away.
Almunia talks a good game but I'd like to see him going full stretch for shots even if he can't quite reach them rather than just giving up. I hope I'm wrong but I think his confidence is wafer thin and another major rick may not be too far away. Harry's Bar

12:57pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Drewoneone says...

Daniel Pudil has saved us with last ditch tackles/blocks twice in recent weeks. The one against Leicester last weekend and also very late on against Bournemouth away.

While we are on the subject of Daniels - I have said recently that Daniel Tozser could be a future captain which would be a better solution than having a goalkeeper as skipper. I think Manuel is brilliant and you can't miss hearing him barking out to the team, but I do think we need someone in the thick of the action to do the leadership job. Having said that there is nothing to stop a natural leader taking on the role without having to have an armband. Let's see if Daniel T rises to that challenge!
Daniel Pudil has saved us with last ditch tackles/blocks twice in recent weeks. The one against Leicester last weekend and also very late on against Bournemouth away. While we are on the subject of Daniels - I have said recently that Daniel Tozser could be a future captain which would be a better solution than having a goalkeeper as skipper. I think Manuel is brilliant and you can't miss hearing him barking out to the team, but I do think we need someone in the thick of the action to do the leadership job. Having said that there is nothing to stop a natural leader taking on the role without having to have an armband. Let's see if Daniel T rises to that challenge! Drewoneone

3:20pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Jatt597 says...

As well as this if we win our next 4 games, which with our quality and now a bit of confidence shouldnt be an issue, we will be right back up there...seasons not over yet! COYH
As well as this if we win our next 4 games, which with our quality and now a bit of confidence shouldnt be an issue, we will be right back up there...seasons not over yet! COYH Jatt597

4:25pm Mon 10 Feb 14

andyhooked says...

Not certain that Manu can lead from being in goal but he is a true pro. A bit worried about the lack of fitness of the likes of Hall and no sign yet of the Swedish/Norweigian striker that not even made the bench and also the Arsenal loanee. What is happenning with our training regime? Hope the tube strike is called off for tomorrow night otherwise I shall have to forego my pre-match prepartions and drive.
Not certain that Manu can lead from being in goal but he is a true pro. A bit worried about the lack of fitness of the likes of Hall and no sign yet of the Swedish/Norweigian striker that not even made the bench and also the Arsenal loanee. What is happenning with our training regime? Hope the tube strike is called off for tomorrow night otherwise I shall have to forego my pre-match prepartions and drive. andyhooked

9:15pm Mon 10 Feb 14

SAHornet says...

LoveKeithDublin wrote:
As decent a bloke as Almunia is, I think him being captain is partly to blame for our mental weakness and talent for conceding last minute goals.

This interview with Troy and Fitz (whilst tongue in cheek) is actually quite telling - http://www.youtube.c

om/watch?v=aMneH2fLe

lY. They say the players can't understand what he's talking about in team talks. Hardly inspiring!

Also, if the person you look to for inspiration during tough times is someone right back on your own goal-line, it's not a surprise you'll end up dropping so far back and encouraging pressure. I'd much rather a central defender or midfielder driving the team up the pitch.

On a final note, Almunia gave up on that Drinkwater shot as he hit it - if Almunia had dived and used his hands (rather than leading with his head, with his hands tucked into his body!), I think he might have saved it.
On a final note, Almunia gave up on that Drinkwater shot as he hit it - if Almunia had dived and used his hands (rather than leading with his head, with his hands tucked into his body!), I think he might have saved it.

AGREED ON THAT POINT LOVEKEITHDUBLIN
[quote][p][bold]LoveKeithDublin[/bold] wrote: As decent a bloke as Almunia is, I think him being captain is partly to blame for our mental weakness and talent for conceding last minute goals. This interview with Troy and Fitz (whilst tongue in cheek) is actually quite telling - http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=aMneH2fLe lY. They say the players can't understand what he's talking about in team talks. Hardly inspiring! Also, if the person you look to for inspiration during tough times is someone right back on your own goal-line, it's not a surprise you'll end up dropping so far back and encouraging pressure. I'd much rather a central defender or midfielder driving the team up the pitch. On a final note, Almunia gave up on that Drinkwater shot as he hit it - if Almunia had dived and used his hands (rather than leading with his head, with his hands tucked into his body!), I think he might have saved it.[/p][/quote]On a final note, Almunia gave up on that Drinkwater shot as he hit it - if Almunia had dived and used his hands (rather than leading with his head, with his hands tucked into his body!), I think he might have saved it. AGREED ON THAT POINT LOVEKEITHDUBLIN SAHornet

8:57am Tue 11 Feb 14

Anunemus says...

With 2 home games coming up, the end of season break could be a trip to Yeovil.
6 points needed v Brum and Boro or the season's over!
With 2 home games coming up, the end of season break could be a trip to Yeovil. 6 points needed v Brum and Boro or the season's over! Anunemus

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