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Nigel Pearson looking forward to facing his old club Newcastle United

4 weeks ago
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Saturday sees Nigel Pearson up against his old club.

The former Newcastle United coach and assistant manager hoping to take  another massive step towards safety.

When you become the third manager of a club during a season it doesn’t usually end well…

Javi Gracia kicked off the 2019/20 season as Watford boss, then Quique Sánchez Flores got a turn, before Nigel Pearson came in on 6 December 2019.

After one win in the first 15 games under the first two head coaches, after two games in charge to get sorted, Nigel Pearson then went on a run of four wins and a draw in five games, seemingly looking on their way to safety in mid-January.

However, only one win in eleven, including one point from four games after lockdown, has thrown them straight back in trouble.

Tuesday could end up proving pivotal, falling behind to Norwich they came back and won 2-1.

Fourth bottom with four games to go, they are four points clear of 18th and 19th but Bournemouth are home to Spurs and Villa home to Man Utd tonight (Thursday).

So far, very few points picked up by relegation threatened clubs since lockdown but you usually get some strange results as teams get ever more desperate.

With a potential relegation six pointer v West Ham then Man City and Arsenal to close off the season, Nigel Pearson will be desperately targeting NUFC as his most winnable game.

Nigel Pearson speaking to the official Watford site ahead of playing Newcastle United:

“You have got to have some calmness, you’ve got to be able to play the games and not necessarily get involved in all the build-up that inevitable surrounds important games.

“What we’ve got to do is try to detach ourselves from the picture that’s out there in the world of the media and the fans, and we’ve got to just be able to deliver performances which enable us to pick enough points up.

“Whenever you win a game, it’s bound to bring some positive aspects, but we know our situation, we know we’re in a difficult situation.

“Teams are fighting for their lives, we’ve got to make sure our own performances give us the best chance of winning games, and that’s the bottom line.

“We know we’ve got individuals who are capable of bringing something a little bit different, and that’s very important.

“I’m very pleased for Danny [Welbeck] because he’s been very patient, he’s worked really hard to get back and now he’s back, it’s an opportunity for him to secure a run in the side. If he plays well, he’s got a great chance of doing that.

“It’s always good for strikers to score, I don’t care how they go in, I don’t care who scores the goals.

“In the context of what we’re trying to do, it’s about us trying to win games, and if the team performs pretty well, we’ve got a better chance of doing it.

“We know what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to win enough points ourselves, so it’s about keeping that focus.

“I’m not wasting any energy in thinking or discussing anything else, it’s about what we do ourselves, that’s the important thing.

“We’re just preparing for this [Newcastle] game to try and win it, then we’ll prepare for the next game and try and win that.

“We know that so far since the restart we’ve found it difficult, the atmosphere or the circumstances which surround matchdays now are very different, but it was just important for us to win the other day and we achieved that, so now we’re looking at the next game [against Newcastle].”

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