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Performance key for young Hornets as Crystal Palace defeat Watford Under-18s
5:30pm Monday 13th August 2012 in Watford FC News
Watford Under-18s boss David Hughes had nothing but praise for his team despite the young Hornets’ 4-3 pre-season defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Hughes’ youngsters looked rusty early on and trailed 2-1 at half time despite a goal from Bernard Mensah.
Watford seized the initiative after the break and goals from Jerrell Johnson and Alex Jakubiak saw them take a 3-2 lead but missed opportunities to wrap up the win allowed Palace to steal victory with two late goals.
Hughes said: “We were a bit rusty and played on the back foot for the first 25 minutes but credit to the lads, we felt our way into the game and started moving the ball really well - we had a spell where we played some terrific stuff.
“We then got ourselves 3-2 in front and we had opportunities to kill the game off at 3-2 and grab the fourth and that’s the ruthless nature of the game.
“If you get an opportunity to kill the game you have to take it otherwise you get punished.”
Hughes though insists making mistakes is all part of the learning process and says he is more than happy with his team’s efforts in pre-season.
“I’m pleased with the way they’re applying themselves and I’ve got nothing but praise for the lads with what they’re trying to do and the way they’re trying to play,” he said.
“We’ve told the players not to focus on anything apart from the performance because once they get individual and collective performances right, results will take care of themselves.
“Mistakes will happen and part of the coaching process is defining how those mistakes have occurred and then putting them right.”
More from Watford U18s manager David Hughes later this week.