Watford youth coach Dave Hughes praises Under-18s' 'magnificent attitude' after Crawley Town win

This Is Local London: Watford Under-18s coach Dave Hughes. Picture: Holly Cant Watford Under-18s coach Dave Hughes. Picture: Holly Cant

Youth team coach Dave Hughes believes Watford Under-18s are reaping the rewards of their "magnificent attitude" in training after beating Crawley Town 2-0 in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

The Hornets can now look forward to a mouth-watering tie against the tournament holders Norwich City in round four after Alex Jakubiak scored twice to put Watford through.

Jakubiak now has 19 goals this season but after the match Hughes was keen to praise the whole team's display.

"It's testament to the lads' magnificent attitude in training to be quite honest - they work so hard with a view to implementing it on the pitch and they've done that tonight," Hughes told the club website after the game.

"This was an excellent team performance so I'm loath to single out individuals.

"We exploited space in the wide areas, got our wing-backs in advanced positions as often as we could and the timing of delivery was excellent."

Adopting the first-team's 3-5-2 formation, Watford had to dig deep in difficult conditions in the second half to hold on to their advantage.

Hughes admits the Hornets could have killed the game off sooner after half-time but praised his team's collective work ethic.

"This is where the team performance comes through," he said.

"We're disappointed with the second-half display, certainly in that we had chances to kill the game off completely and didn't take them, but this group make my job easier because of the way they're prepared to keep applying themselves and keep improving."

Watford now face Norwich, who they lost to in pre-season, and Hughes believes the tie will serve as a measure of how far the team has come.

"It's a great challenge for us," Hughes added.

"We played them in pre-season and they beat us comfortably. From my point of view, it'll be very interesting to see how far the lads have progressed.

"Norwich are a team with good players - but we've got good players, and I want to see just how good we can be."

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