Watford skipper Deeney denies report of half-time fight

Watford captain Troy Deeney has clarified that there was no dressing room bust up during Friday's loss to West Ham, which was Nigel Pearson's last game in charge.

Troy Deeney

Troy Deeney reacts after Watford's 3-1 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League.   -  Reuters

Watford captain Troy Deeney has dismissed reports a fight broke out in the dressing room during Friday's 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.

Manager Nigel Pearson was sacked after the defeat, which left the side three points above the relegation zone.

“I just want to put out there, there was no fight at half time,” Deeney, 32, told broadcaster beIN SPORTS.

“It's 2020. We don't do that anymore. You know, certainly with all the cameras and everything, you'd certainly see a lot more if that was the case.

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“The gaffer didn't put his hands on anybody. He was just frustrated and had a firm talking to, so no one was fighting, no one was punched, no one was even tickled. I don't know, whatever way there was: no hands thrown, let's just put it that way,” he added.


Deeney said the timing of Pearson's dismissal caught him off guard. “It's strange obviously, we didn't see it coming. I think you get to a point in football where you're not surprised anymore but I would say that this one certainly, you know, took me back a bit,” he said.

- Watford must stay focused after Pearson sacking says interim boss -

Watford cannot afford to lose its focus following the sacking of manager Nigel Pearson as it fights for its Premier League survival with two games left, interim boss Hayden Mullins said on Monday.

Pearson was last week with the side three points above the relegation zone ahead of games against Manchester City and Arsenal.

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He sparked a transformation with four wins in his first seven games, including a win over champion Liverpool to end the Reds' unbeaten season, but Watford has picked up only seven points from seven games since the campaign restarted last month.

“When you work in football, a lot of things happen ... We can't let it dissuade us from our focus,” Mullins told reporters ahead of Tuesday's game against second-placed Manchester City.

“The club have made decisions, we have to be professional enough to deal with it. We are a good team, a good unit and squad. We have shown since December we can get results. We're confident in what we are trying to do.

“I really enjoyed working with Nigel Pearson. I learned a lot and it was a good experience for me,” he added.


Mullins is filling in as interim manager for the second time. The 41-year-old took temporary charge in December when Quique Sanchez Flores was sacked less than three months into his reign after Watford won one of 10 league matches under him.