Beaten Steve Evans hails Watford and ‘fantastic’ Quique Sanchez Flores

Watford 1 Leeds United 0: Defeated Leeds manager Steve Evans has hailed cup counterpart Quique Sanchez Flores as a “fantastic addition” to the Barclays Premier League.

Beaten Steve Evans hails Watford and ‘fantastic’ Quique Sanchez Flores

Saturday’s win means the Hornets have reached the sixth round of the FA Cup for the first time in almost a decade, and coupled with impressive league form, has earned Flores and his side plenty of plaudits this season.

“Credit to Quique as I think his team play some wonderful football,” said Evans after his side’s loss at Vicarage Road.

“He is a fantastic addition to English football and so too are Watford to the Premier League. Bar Leicester they are the success story this season.”

While Watford recorded their third 1-0 victory in football’s oldest cup competition in as many games, there was more than a hint of luck about their winning goal.

With 53 minutes gone, Scott Wootton, formerly of Manchester United’s academy, attempted to clear the ball but instead diverted it into his own net.

The 24-year-old held his head in his hands and apologised to all of his team-mates and the club’s staff at the final whistle.

“We can win the competition like this if you are able to keep the goal zero and you are also scoring,” said Flores after successive narrow victories against Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and now Leeds.

“I think it’s important to separate the feelings. In the Premier League we are close to achieving our target of staying up.

“We respect this competition a lot and we want to advance into the next round.

“We involve a lot of players who have trained very well during the week in the line-up. We have good feelings in this competition.”

Flores, whose Watford side are ninth in the Premier League, made six changes from the side that beat Crystal Palace last weekend.

Among them was Jose Holebas who replaced Nathan Ake at left-back and was named man of the match in his first start since the goalless draw against Chelsea at the beginning of February.

“I have to say I’m very happy with the award as I try all the time to give my best and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

“I’m happy the most that the team won though, as that was the objective at the beginning of the game.

“Since the Chelsea game I haven’t been playing and it’s been difficult for me as I haven’t had any rhythm, so today was a special day for me, especially as we won the game.”

WATFORD:

Pantilimon, Paredes, Cathcart, Britos, Holebas, Capoue (Anya 90), Mario Suarez, Watson, Abdi (Guedioura 77), Deeney, Amrabat (Ighalo 67).

Subs not used:

Gomes, Nyom, Prodl, Behrami.

LEEDS:

Silvestri, Wootton, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor, Dallas (Mowatt 61), Diagouraga (Botaka 86), Bridcutt, Cook, Antenucci (Erwin 83), Doukara.

Subs not used:

Murphy, Adeyemi, Coyle, Peacock-Farrell.

Referee:

Michael Oliver

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