English Premiership

'Collective buy-in' key to Watford survival, says Pearson

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Nigel Pearson (Getty Images)
Nigel Pearson (Getty Images)

London - Newly-appointed Watford manager Nigel Pearson believes "collective buy-in" will be the key if the Hornets are to stay in the Premier League.

The 56-year-old Pearson, who helped Leicester defy the odds as the Foxes maintained their top-flight status in 2015, became Watford's third manager this season after the exits of Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores when he was appointed last Friday.

Watford are in dire straits, having won just one of their opening 16 league matches this season, with the club six points adrift of safety.

But Pearson, in his first press conference as Watford manager, insisted Thursday that all was not lost.

"Can we stay up, you're asking? Yes," said Pearson.

"For sure we can stay up, but we're going to have to have a collective buy-in from everybody associated with us. The players certainly as a group, the staff around the football club.

"I've been introduced to a lot of the staff who work at the stadium. This strikes me as a club with an identity that maybe we need to redefine on the pitch. But I'm confident we can do that."

Pearson's first match in charge of Watford could hardly be more difficult, away to runaway league leaders Liverpool on Saturday.

But Pearson, who has not managed in the Premier League since he left Leicester more than four years ago, was defiant.

He added: "Our club has looked at what they feel are my strengths and they feel I'm the right person to come in. That is very reassuring for me.

"It doesn't make my job any easier but it was very clear they wanted someone with my style to come in and galvanise the team and the staff as well.

"I'm not going to try to reinvent the wheel. It would be slightly foolish of me to think there's going to be a revolution, first and foremost it's the mindset of the players.

"If it has been damaged and their confidence has been eroded by us not being able to find the answers this season, myself and the staff will do everything we can to help them on the journey.

"But ultimately the players will have to come to the party." 

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