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Watford boss Xisco Munoz talks up Joao Pedro after another fine display

Watford v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Vicarage Road
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Watford boss Xisco Munoz praised “exciting” Joao Pedro after the forward scored one and set two up in the 3-2 win at Blackburn.

The 19-year-old’s ninth goal of the season – a delicate lob – set the Hornets on their way, before his shot was eventually turned home by Ismaila Sarr for Watford’s second.

Harvey Elliott halved the deficit before the break but Joao then played in Ken Sema for Watford’s third, with the visitors holding on after Ben Brereton’s goal late in the second half.

It was Watford’s first win at Ewood Park since September 2000 – a year before Joao was born.

And after Watford’s seventh victory in 10 outings, which left the club level on points with second-placed Brentford, Xisco praised Pedro’s work.

He said: “I think he needs to continue to score. We know Joao Pedro is an exciting player, he’s a brilliant striker, and I know also he scores a lot of goals.

“I repeat, I have a very good squad but I am happy with Joao because right now, he’s working hard and also in defence, because he does very good things for the team in defence and offence.

“The second goal also was excellent. All the players moved the ball well. This is our work, we need to continue. We need to keep improving and try to play better.

“In the first half, we had control of the game. In the second half, it changed a little bit but we had the chances in transition to try and kill them off. We scored three times and had important chances in the second half to close the game. I think that we can mature better in the game.”

Blackburn are firmly in mid-table after a fifth straight defeat for the first time since April 2012.

Tony Mowbray conceded his side came up against a “very good team” despite conceding “soft” goals.

He said: “Watford are a good team. All over the pitch they have got experience. We gave it our best shot. We always looked a threat on transition.

“I think (Adam) Armstrong is looking every inch a Premier League footballer. He’s a real threat. I thought Harvey Elliott was really good tonight.

“Sometimes good teams pick the right pass, they turn you round at the right times, and yet the goals we lost were pretty soft really. The first one is just a lob over the top that didn’t bounce and the keeper got caught in no man’s land.

“Another day it would bounce straight through to him. Maybe they played the conditions a little bit better than us, and yet we could have got an equaliser late on.

“I thought the team competed really well for the vast majority of that game. We have to accept it’s another defeat to a very good team.”