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Nigel Pearson challenges Watford to "fight for every point" in relegation battle

Nigel Pearson challenges Watford to
© Reuters
The Hornets remain one point from safety.

Watford manager Nigel Pearson wants his side to fight for every point after a late Hornets own goal ensured the points were shared in a 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Watford took the lead after an individual effort from Abdoulaye Doucoure, but Adrian Mariappa turned the ball into his own net with just over 10 minutes remaining to ensure the points were shared.

The Hornets would have climbed out of the relegation zone with a victory at the Amex, but remain one point from safety.

Pearson said: "What we've got to try and do is set ourselves the challenge of trying to win every game which obviously won't happen but the intention is to go out there and fight for every point that is available, how that pans out it's difficult to know."

The Hornets boss had said prior to the game he wanted his side to ease the burden on captain and top goalscorer Troy Deeney, and Doucoure delivered with his fourth goal of the season to give the away side the lead.

The French midfielder has thrived under the current Watford manager, scoring three goals and adding two assists in the nine games since Pearson took over in early January, and the boss praised his "wonderful" strike.

He said: "It was a really good goal. We always like to get the balance between defending high up the pitch, and sometimes a little bit lower, I thought we changed the tempo of our defensive situation very well in terms of pressing at a time when we made it difficult for them.

"So to win it back in the middle third and then create a goalscoring opportunity, I think shows what an effective counter-attack it was, and an absolutely wonderful finish."

Graham Potter praised his side for responding after going a goal behind, but wants his side to improve on the number of chances they create.

Potter said: "That's something we want to try and improve but with the greatest respect it isn't so easy to do that when teams can defend or when you're playing against another Premier League team that is organised well, Nigel organises them well.

"I think you look at their chances, they didn't really create anything either, and sometimes if you can't create so much, at least the opposition aren't.

"But clearly it's something we have to try and improve because we want to get three points rather than one."

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Watford boss Nigel Pearson on February 1, 2020
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