MX23RW : Monday, January 21 04:11:46

Javi Gracia: I know now Big Ben is in Watford not London

Javi Gracia: I know now Big Ben is in Watford not London
© Reuters
Goalkeeper Ben Foster has been in impressive form for Watford.

Watford boss Javi Gracia hailed the form of 'Big Ben' Foster after the goalkeeper's impressive second-half display at Bournemouth.

Former England goalkeeper Foster produced another set of first-class saves to help the Hornets earn a 3-3 draw on Wednesday night.

Troy Deeney's early brace had Watford in control, only for four goals in six minutes to leave honours even at half-time.

Foster conjured fine close-range saves to deny Callum Wilson once and Josh King twice in the second half, leaving Watford manager Gracia to reveal his nickname for the 35-year-old.

"Ben Foster was very important in the second half for us," said Gracia.

"I call him Big Ben. When I arrived in England, I thought Big Ben was in London, but now I know he's in Watford.

"He's playing very well and is very important for us."

Watford's Spanish manager might be happy to set his watch to Foster's goalkeeping, but no one would have been using Wednesday night's defending as a template.

Nathan Ake, England striker Wilson and Ryan Fraser all struck late in the first half for Bournemouth, with Ken Sema also thumping home for Watford in a madcap six-minute spell.

Bournemouth had defensive injuries to deal with and forward Junior Stanislas had to deputise at right-back.

And manager Eddie Howe hailed the 29-year-old's impressive showing in unfamiliar territory.

"Junior was excellent, mentally as much as anything else – that's one of the biggest challenges, the focus required," said Howe.

"And he performed very well, defensively he was solid and kept his focus but also he was very dangerous in attack."

Scotland winger Fraser had a hand in all three Bournemouth goals, scoring one himself.

The 24-year-old revealed Cherries boss Howe has called on the squad to rekindle their fighting spirit after a challenging run of just two wins in 11 Premier League matches.

"To get back to 2-2 and then to concede again in a minute wasn't good," Fraser told Bournemouth's official club website.

"The gaffer's been on to us that even if we are three our four down, not to give up. Because that's not us.

"So we wanted to get back to that never-say-die attitude.

"When you get back into the game it gives you a positive lift.

"We'll take the positives but we can't keep conceding. I don't think we defended well enough from the front tonight."


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Dan Gosling in action for Bournemouth on November 10, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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