Roy Hodgson insists home form is not the only key to Watford’s survival chances

West Ham United v Watford – Premier League – London Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Roy Hodgson believes a run of form at Vicarage Road is not necessarily the key to Watford remaining in the Premier League this season.

The Hornets currently sit in 19th place, three points behind Newcastle in 17th, having won just four matches all season.

Hodgson, who replaced Claudio Ranieri as boss last month, guided Watford to a first clean sheet in the league this term with a 0-0 draw in his opening match at Burnley on February 5.

However, they have since slipped further into the drop zone after losing at West Ham on Tuesday while Newcastle beat Everton.

The Hornets have eight home games remaining this season, of which only one is against a top-six club, but Hodgson stressed that it is not only performances at Vicarage Road that can be significant.

“We need a string of good results, whether at Vicarage Road or elsewhere there’s no doubt about that, but we’re not alone in that instance,” the Watford manager said.

“When you find yourself at the wrong end of the table where there’s no wiggle room, really every game is a vital one for you because you don’t want to slip further behind.

“You really want to start bridging that gap between you and the teams above you, so nothing changes really in that respect.

“It would be too easy to say it’s the home form or the home games that decide it, but that might not be the case.

“I’ve got an open mind and I don’t really mind either way. It’s always nicer to win your games at home in front of your home crowd, but home supporters are sensible people and they also realise that if you’re getting the points away from home then they can be happy with that too.”

Watford have not found the net since Hodgson took over, and the manager will be hoping that changes on Saturday at home against Brighton.

“If you want to win games you’ve got to (start scoring), you can’t win games 0-0, and all the time the game is 0-0 you’re always concerned that something is going to happen that maybe you don’t deserve to happen,” Hodgson said.

“Goals are the key for everyone, there’s no secret about that, and I’m sure the players here are fully aware of it and they will be working as hard as the staff are to make certain that we get those goals.”

The Hornets could be boosted by the return of Ismaila Sarr, although the Senegal international is not expected to resume training until Friday after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with his country.

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