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Xisco Munoz hails Watford's "spirit and determination" in Preston win

The Hornets climbed to third in the Championship table as Joao Pedro earned and converted a penalty to make it back-to-back league victories.

Watford boss Xisco Munoz felt his side implemented his personal playing style perfectly in a 1-0 win at Preston.

The Hornets climbed to third in the Championship table as Joao Pedro earned and converted a penalty to make it back-to-back league victories.

Incredibly, rumblings about Xisco's future had emerged after a three-game winless run earlier in February but the Spaniard felt their win in Lancashire sets the standard for the rest of the season.

"I think it was a good performance for us because we showed the very good team spirit that we already have and we played with passion," said the Vicarage Road boss.

"We had control of the game in the first half and in the second half we lost the momentum at times. But everyone played together and we worked very hard. We played as our fans wanted us to play today.

"We have a lot of games, we know that and I repeat the same thing. Now is the moment for enjoying it (the win) for 20 minutes. Then after 20 minutes we need to start preparing for the next game.

"I am really happy with the guys because I think they gave passion, they played with spirit and determination.

"I am proud of my team because sometimes you need to play one style and sometimes you need to play another style.

"This is our club, this is our style, this is our challenge and we need to follow this game."

The winner came in the 51st minute when Adam Masina and Ken Sema combined to slip a pass to Pedro, who had his heels clipped by Tom Barkhuizen.

Referee Tony Harrington pointed to the spot and the Brazilian forward made no mistake.

Preston's struggles at home continue, picking up 14 points from 15 games at Deepdale and scoring just 11 goals.

Preston first-team coach Frankie McAvoy said: "We're a bit disappointed we've come away with nothing from the game. I thought it was a really good, tight affair. We knew it would be.

"They've got quality all over the pitch. I thought the manager's tactics were spot on.

"The penalty kick is the defining factor in the game. I thought we had the best couple of chances in the first half.

"All in all, we are disappointed. We had a few chances. I'm not really sure that the goalkeepers got worked by either side.

"I don't think there was much but there were clear chances and on another day you get one that might sneak in."

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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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