'Watford intent on reaching next level'


“There’s a lot of teams that get into our position, pull the handbrake up, and think about the beach already.”

Last Updated: 23/02/19 12:25pm

Watford's win against Cardiff saw them reach the 40-point mark

Watford’s win against Cardiff saw them reach the 40-point mark

Ben Foster says Watford have no intention of thinking about the beach and are intent on reaching the “next level”, with distinct hopes of a continental adventure in European football.

Watford emphatically beat Cardiff 5-1 on Friday – their biggest win of the season – to move up to seventh place in the Premier League, which could ensure Europa League qualification.

Javi Gracia’s side are on course for their best Premier League campaign, surpassing the 13th-place finish achieved in 2015-16, and Foster insists the squad will maintain their high standards.

Ben Foster missed out on a third consecutive clean sheet in the Premier League Ben Foster missed out on a third consecutive clean sheet in the Premier League

Ben Foster missed out on a third consecutive clean sheet in the Premier League

“There’s a lot of teams that get into our position, pull the handbrake up, and think about the beach already,” Foster said.

“But there’s absolutely no chance of these players wanting to do that.

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Highlights from Watford's 5-1 win at Cardiff in the Premier League.

Highlights from Watford’s 5-1 win at Cardiff in the Premier League.

“They’re so hungry for wanting to do more. One of the big drives from the start of the season was not just surviving and doing the minimum.

“We wanted to push it to the next level and we feel that we’ve got the squad to do that. Some of these players are worth £40m and £50m.”

Gerard Deulofeu scored his first hat-trick in English football Gerard Deulofeu scored his first hat-trick in English football

Gerard Deulofeu scored his first hat-trick in English football

Gerard Deulofeu underlined why he has long been viewed as a precocious talent with an impressive hat-trick in Wales, to become the first Watford player to do so in the top-flight since Mark Falco in 1986.

The Spain international first joined Watford on loan from Barcelona last January and Foster says the 24-year-old, who joined permanently in the summer for £11.3m, has plenty more to give.

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Javi Gracia says he was more impressed by Gerard Deulofeu's assist after his hat-trick than his goals in Watford's 5-1 win at Cardiff.

Javi Gracia says he was more impressed by Gerard Deulofeu’s assist after his hat-trick than his goals in Watford’s 5-1 win at Cardiff.

“I don’t think Gerard’s fulfilled his potential yet, which is frightening really when you see how good he is,” Foster said.

“He’s got that ability when he does go through one on one to sit you down as a goalkeeper.

“He fakes to shoot and then puts it in the corner. He’s got so much ability and is lovely to watch.”

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Watford have lost only once in 11 games since Boxing Day and also have a home FA Cup quarter-final against Crystal Palace next month, with a place at Wembley on offer.

“The cup is massive for us,” Foster said. “Having that cup run really keeps our strength in depth firing and everybody interested.

Watford have two routes through to European football Watford have two routes through to European football

Watford have two routes through to European football

“The fringe players know they might have a chance of a game in the FA Cup. It keeps the standards really high in training and that is what is driving us on.

“At times when we play like that, when we’re firing and popping it like that, they look incredible from where I stand.”

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