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Dec 7, 2019 at 3pm UK
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Roy Hodgson: 'Nigel Pearson can keep Watford up'

:Headline: Roy Hodgson: 'Nigel Pearson can keep Watford up':
The new manager watched from the stands as the Hornets held Crystal Palace.
PA | 1mo

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has backed Nigel Pearson to lead Watford up the Premier League table.

Pearson was appointed Hornets manager on a deal until the end of the season on Friday and watched from the stands as his new side played out a goalless draw at Vicarage Road.

The point did little for the hosts' survival chances and they remain bottom, but it did end a run of three consecutive defeats.

Eagles boss Hodgson was pleased to secure a third clean sheet in seven days and believes the former Leicester chief can turn around the fortunes of the Hertfordshire outfit.

"I know Nigel well and I'm an admirer of his. He organises teams very well and gets his teams playing in a very disciplined and organised way. I think he has the right type of players for that," he said.

"Watford were a good team last year and I don't think they are anything other than a good team this year as well, but football and momentum does strange things to you.

"You get a few bad results and suddenly confidence goes a little and people don't do what they did the year before and everything looks different to what it should, because these are the same players who did well last year.

"They have 25 senior players who are regulars in the Premier League, so he comes into a good set-up.

"I expect him to do what he does, which is to produce good teams. I would expect Watford to be climbing the table."

Pearson spoke to the Watford players in the dressing room before kick-off and interim boss Hayden Mullins admitted his leadership qualities were evident immediately.

"I think that's one of the reasons why the club have appointed him because they know that about him, they know his pedigree, he's a top manager and he's got a good group of players to work with," said the Hornets under-23 boss.

"He said a few words with the lads. He introduced himself and went around the group, shook everyone's hands and had a few words to say before the boys went out which was brilliant."

Although Mullins was unable to end Watford's long wait for a league win at home, he was proud of his players and enjoyed being in charge for the games with Leicester and Palace.

He added: "It's been a great experience. When you step into coaching you look at where you want to go and obviously the development route is the first step and you've got to earn your stripes.

"But to have my first experience of managing a team in the Premier League has been absolutely unbelievable.

"It does leave you with a bit of a hunger to do more, but I understand where the club is and the manager they've just appointed is a very good one. We're in a fight at the moment and we need to try and get out of it."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317
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