Troy Deeney’s contribution was praised by Nigel Pearson following his two goals in the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, but the Watford head coach believes the skipper would be the first to applaud the efforts of his team-mates in the win.

Having got off the mark in the Boxing Day draw at Sheffield United, the Hornets skipper and Birmingham City fan continued his good week on the pitch by netting twice to make it five goals in his last three appearances against Villa.

Pearson acknowledged the striker is an important player for his side as they continue their battle to beat the drop, but also felt a number of his team-mates performed to very good effect.

The Hornets head coach: “He’s an important player for us and he brings qualities to the side that we need. He loves the pressure, he loves to be able to make a fight of game and he’s always a handful to play against. He’s still not at his best but the fact he’s been able to play the number of games that he has, contribute and score three goals in the last week I think bodes really well for him.

“He’s a player that can occupy opponents really well, he’s somebody who will ignite the fans and he’s a focal point and he’s also our captain, so all things together mean he’s a very important player for us but he has a role to play like everybody else.”

Pearson continued: “There’s always going to be important performances in any victory and he’s played his part today. He took a penalty under pressure, scored the first goal and played a really strong role for the team but there’s been a lot of other good performances out there today and I think Troy would be the first to congratulate his team-mates on their contribution as well.

“For us to succeed in getting out of the situation we’re currently in it’s going to be a concerted effort from everybody.

“I’m really pleased he’s back, fit, scoring goals for us, but I’m also pleased we’ve got a squad of players who are prepared to put their bodies on the line like they are today when we had to deal with adversity in terms of having a player sent off that we were still able to function well and even score two more goals.”