Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster hailed “absolutely top-class” boss Xisco Munoz following Saturday’s 3-1 win at Norwich.
Ismaila Sarr proved too good for the Canaries’ defence, with his brace putting the game beyond the hosts as Norwich’s losing start to the Premier League season extended to five games.
The Hornets had taken an early lead as Emmanuel Dennis headed past Tim Krul after being marked poorly in the 17th minute but Norwich levelled through Teemu Pukki before the break.
However, in the second half Watford took a decisive lead in the 63rd minute, with Sarr beating Grant Hanley to the ball before flicking it into the net and he was then first to a parried shot to tap home his second 10 minutes from time.
“Before today, Norwich had lost 14 in a row and we had lost eight in a row away from home in the Premier League – something had to give, and thank goodness it wasn’t us,” Foster said.
“We were having breakfast this morning and that Norwich stat flashed across the bottom of the screen on Sky Sports. I said to the lads, ‘We can’t be the ones who buck that trend, let’s make sure we’re not the full stop on their bad run’. That performance was a good answer.”
Watford have two wins to their name this season, adding victory at Norwich to an impressive opening-day 3-2 win over Aston Villa, and the experienced goalkeeper paid tribute to the man at the helm.
He said: “He (Xisco) is genuinely popular with the players. When you ask a lot of footballers about their manager, they will give you a stock answer – ‘Yeah, he’s good, we all respect him’ – whether they really mean it or not.
“But Xisco is a great guy, absolutely top class – not only him, but his coaching staff. He’s always full of energy, always smiling, and it’s so important to have good guys around the place.
“We’ve got experience on the pitch, and we can manage ourselves at times, but he steers the ship and he’s exactly the sort of guy we need at the moment.”
Norwich had the toughest of starts – against Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester and Arsenal, but again struggled against their fellow promoted side and have now lost five successive matches against the Hornets.
Norwich will host Liverpool in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, which does not leave Daniel Farke a lot of time to turn things around.
He said: “First of all it’s important that we speak about today. It’s always the best, not to feel too sorry for ourselves but to be honest and to be self-critical.
“We (will) speak about the situations where we should have done better and analyse this game also in a pretty self-critical way and this is the first moment to deal with the situation.
“And to roll the sleeves up and work on the training pitch in order to improve this (situation).
“There is not much time anyhow (until the match against Liverpool) so for that my players are also experienced, they know that they should have dealt better with the situation and they are more disappointed than anyone else.
“So it’s not up to me to punish them too much in the dressing room and at the training ground. It will also be important to keep the spirits high, but we will also be self-critical because to deal with it in an honest way is always the best solution.”
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