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03:35

Manager's Praise For Mature Everton

Marco Silva paid tribute to his “mature” Everton side for successfully navigating a tricky home Premier League encounter with Watford – but promised the Blues would improve as the season unfolds.

Everton started explosively against last term’s FA Cup finalists and were rewarded for their early superiority when Bernard fired inside Ben Foster’s right post on 10 minutes.

The Blues carved out more openings, Richarlison twice heading over from Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kicks and substitute Moise Keane going close with a skimming drive at the death.

Watford nevertheless clawed their way back into the contest after falling behind and hit the woodwork through defender Craig Dawson.

Everton rained more shots on goal than their opponents – 12 against Watford’s eight – but Javi Gracia’s side spent long periods with the ball. The visitors’ only fashioned one outright scoring opportunity after the break, however, Jordan Pickford denying striker Troy Deeney at point-blank range.

“It was an important win and really important three points for us,” said Everton manager Silva.

“I thought we deserved the three points, even if it was a tough game, like always in the Premier League.

“Our first 30 minutes was very good: good football, good moments and a good goal from Bernard.

“We created more chances than Watford, they had one chance with Troy Deeney, and we kept another clean sheet, which was very important for us.

“But we will improve. I don’t have doubts about that.

“The performance was not our best. We can and will do better in the future and play with more quality than we did in the second half.”

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01:59 Tue 03 Sep 2019

WATCH BERNARD'S BLUES WINNER OVER WATFORD

Two-minute highlights from 1-0 victory at Goodison.

Everton’s victory was their fifth in succession at Goodison Park and extended the Blues’ unbeaten home run to a sixth game.

Prior to finishing last term with a string of compelling home displays, however, Silva’s side saw points slip away in nine Goodison fixtures.

A combination of organisation, stubborn defending and a sheer refusal to concede ensured Everton would not end up with less than a maximum points haul this weekend.

And in Silva’s view, the fact they held off a spirited and persistent Watford reflects his team’s progress in the past 12 months.

“This is a big change for us,” added Silva, whose side has kept clean sheets in their past six Goodison games and recorded 10 shutouts in 13 matches.

“We have to be mature in some moments.

“If you can perform well and win it is fantastic.

“In some moments you cannot… but it is important you keep your full focus and win even when you do not perform well, like in the second half.

“Our clean sheet numbers are fantastic.

“We want to make Goodison our fortress.

“We improved at home in the second period of last season and we want to play the same way this season over a longer period.

“The players are working really hard, now we want to do the same in the other box – to be more clinical and score more goals, because we keep creating chances.”

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01:18

PICKFORD PINPOINTS KEY TO EVERTON'S CLEAN SHEETS

Keeper calls for more shutouts after 1-0 victory over Watford.

 

 

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