Ghana's No. 1

Wilder hails Davis as Watford striker ends drought

Published on: 15 March 2023

Keinan Davis' goal was his first since scoring against Luton in October

Watford boss Chris Wilder believes Keinan Davis will be a "big player" over the final weeks of the season after ending his goalscoring drought.

On-loan Davis netted his first goal for 17 games in Tuesday's 3-0 victory over Birmingham City at Vicarage Road.

The result lifted the Hornets to 10th in the Championship - just four points outside the play-off places.

"I know a lot about Keinan, I tried to sign him at a previous club," Wilder told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"We saw the effect he had for [Nottingham] Forest last year [when they won promotion] so it's good he got a goal because he's been suffering a little bit.

"We've talked to him at length about being more positive and leading the line and I thought for his 60-minute spell, he was excellent."

Watford had not scored in their three previous games - two of them under former boss Slaven Bilic - and there was more good news for Wilder when Britt Assombalonga, sent on to replace Davis, scored his first goal since arriving just before the end of the January transfer window.

They have nine games left to try to force their way into the play-offs - the next at home to struggling Wigan Athletic, their last before the international break.

"For me now, consistency is key," said Wilder.

"The same message will be going into the boys in the next couple of days, keep the hammer down and let's see if we can get another win on Saturday."

Joint leading scorer Joao Pedro was pushed further forward against Birmingham to form a front two with Davis, although he did not add to his nine goals this season.

"Their partnership, hopefully, will get better and the three behind them - Imran [Louza] getting in the box was important for us as well - have got the intelligence to move and rotate," Wilder added.

"Joao can play anywhere - I imagine he'd go and play right-back better than anybody as well - but he's paid to play at the top of the pitch to create, assist and score.

"It's pretty simplistic, you want your best players in those positions that are nearest their goal. We'll create a little bit more for him, but he was bright and lively and I'm glad he was disappointed to come off [after 81 minutes], that shows his attitude."


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