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Shakespeare: Watford revival just the start

Watford host Wolves on New Year’s Day targeting a fourth game unbeaten at home

Last Updated: 30/12/19 5:04pm

Craig Shakespeare has reunited with Nigel Pearson

Watford assistant head coach Craig Shakespeare says the club’s recent resurgence is ‘only the start’ and the players must ‘push on’ in the new year as they battle to avoid Premier League relegation.

Shakespeare reunited with ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson earlier this month and the new coaching team have overseen a three-game unbeaten run, including two home wins, which has lifted them from the bottom of the table.

Pearson hailed the unity within the squad as 10-man Watford beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday to move within three points of 17th-placed West Ham.

And Shakespeare added on Monday: “The players have been terrific.

“That is the idea when you come in as a new management team to have that impact and get results.

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“You are never quite sure, you are hoping [it will happen]. We have had a positive impact but we are also aware that it is only the start. We have to maintain the belief, the confidence, and the desire.

2:59 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Watford’s victory against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Watford’s victory against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

“We have to push on because we want to climb the table. We know that other teams are going to be there to get the points that as well.”

Watford host Wolves on New Year’s Day aiming to extend their unbeaten home run to four games and Shakespeare believes the squad’s togetherness will be pivotal to maintaining their upturn in fortunes.

“I think your home form is vitally important but I think it is important you stay competitive and try to win every game,” added Shakespeare, who has Champions League experience as Leicester manager.

3:32 Watford’s Nigel Pearson says his side showed great unity to beat Aston Villa 3-0 after being reduced to 10 men.

Watford’s Nigel Pearson says his side showed great unity to beat Aston Villa 3-0 after being reduced to 10 men.

“What we have tried to instil is that competitive spirit, that togetherness.

“The team ethic is vitally important – not just the starting XI but the ones who don’t start, because over Christmas they can play a big part.

3:02 Speaking on Soccer Saturday, Phil Thompson says that new Watford boss Nigel Pearson has brought belief and hope to Vicarage Road after they won back-to-back home games

Speaking on Soccer Saturday, Phil Thompson says that new Watford boss Nigel Pearson has brought belief and hope to Vicarage Road after they won back-to-back home games

“The whole club, culture and environment that we are trying to build and everyone is buying into, hopefully, will stand us in good stead.”

Wolves, who sit seventh in the table, produced a brilliant comeback to beat Premier League champions Manchester City at Molineux last week before they lost 1-0 at league leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

Asked whether Watford might catch Wolves on an emotional comedown, Shakespeare replied: “No, I have been really impressed with Nuno Espirito Santo and Wolves over the last 18 months.

“The Europa League has not made a difference to them. You can see that they have a style and philosophy and that will be a big stern test for us.”

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