MX23RW : Monday, June 14 22:27:17| >> :60:914:914:
Feb 23, 2020 at 2pm UK at Old Trafford
Attendance: 73,347
Man UtdManchester United
3-0
Watford
Fernandes (42' pen.), Martial (58'), Greenwood (75')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Nigel Pearson remaining "focused and realistic" ahead of Old Trafford trip

Nigel Pearson remaining
© Reuters
Nigel Pearson has given the Hornets a fighting chance of survival since his appointment in December.

Staying in the Premier League is Watford manager Nigel Pearson's sole focus ahead of their trip to Manchester United.

Pearson has given the Hornets a fighting chance of survival since his appointment in December, with a 2-0 home win over United an obvious highlight of his short tenure so far.

Watford head north with a chance of ending the weekend outside the bottom three and Pearson wants being there in May to be the only thing on their minds.

"The Premier League is such a huge brand and it's easy to get sidetracked. I've got to try and remain focused and realistic," he told his club's official website.

Pearson masterminded a survival act at Leicester in 2015, but knows he needs to find new methods this time around.

"Every situation I've been in as a player, as a manager and as a head coach, the circumstances are different," he said.

"It's difficult to compare one against another. The Leicester season, in 14/15, was an incredible turnaround, but that side had been built over a number of years and there was an identity which was very real within the club.

"One of the big factors is recognising that things are different. I'm not a believer in that what has worked somewhere else will do somewhere else.

"If you work like that you've got no chance. Adapting to what is required and understanding what is going on at another club and trying to keep focused is what's really important – and concentrating on getting our preparation right for every game."

Watford have never won a league game at Old Trafford and United's impressive week would suggest that record may continue.

"I don't spend too much time looking at things that have already been and gone," Pearson added.

"We know we've beaten them this season, which is good. Whether that has any bearing on the game that's coming up, we'll see.

"Firstly, it's about us being able to produce a level of performance that is good enough for us to cause them problems.

"We've got individuals in our squad who are very, very capable in an offensive manner. But, as always, the collective is the most important thing. Every time a team plays a game it has a chance.

"It is difficult to always evaluate how realistic the chance is, but we need to win games, so what I want is a committed performance where we show every intent to win the game. We've got to take care of ourselves first."

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Watford boss Nigel Pearson on February 1, 2020
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