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04th Sep 2018

Watford ignored manager’s instructions to beat Spurs, says Troy Deeney

Watford have four wins from four matches after coming from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Sunday, and they deviated from the manager's plan

Reuben Pinder

Troy Deeney

Watford have won their opening four matches in the Premier League for the first time

Hornets skipper Troy Deeney said the players ignored manager Javi Gracia’s instructions in their thrilling turnaround against Tottenham on Sunday.

Watford had to dig deep against Spurs after going behind to an unfortunate Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal, but fought back to win 2-1 and maintain their 100% start to the season.

The hosts’ two strikes both came from set-pieces, but according to Deeney the Hornets used their intuition rather than following Gracia’s directions from the training ground.

“The gaffer has got to take credit. He’s worked a lot on the set-pieces,” Deeney told BBC Match of the Day.

“Funnily enough, the two that he’s worked on we didn’t do. We just ignored him and went our own way and the ball fell for us. The players have got to take credit for that.

“If we had missed he would have hammered us!”

Along with Liverpool and Chelsea, Watford have won all of their opening four matches, beating Crystal Palace, Burnley and Brighton as well as Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

They face a tough test against Manchester United after the international break – in the 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday, September 15 – but Gracia is delighted by his team’s efforts so far.

“It has been an amazing start,” he said on Sunday. “We are in a good moment and trying to enjoy it, knowing we have won four games – but it is only four games.”

The former Malaga boss, who took charge at Vicarage Road in January, also paid tribute to goalscorer Deeney after the game, adding: “He has a special personality.

“I’ve already seen and said many times he is very important on and off the pitch, today he showed that again but it is no surprise for me.”

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