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FA Cup third round action at Vicarage Road saw Marco Silva’s side comfortably brush aside Championship outfit Bristol City yesterday.
The Robins made seven changes to their side, resting key players before their League Cup semi-final first-leg at Manchester City tomorrow night.
Those wholesale changes looked to have proved costly for Lee Johnson’s men as they couldn’t cope with the calibre of player available at their opponents’ disposal.
Dean Holden, the visitors’ assistant head coach, was proud of his youngsters’ effort to showcase their club’s identity, despite the defeat.
“It was always going to be a tough ask” he said.
“I think Steve Landsdown [owner} was here today and I think he will be sat there with a lot of pride. Two debutants came in and really showed the philosophy and DNA of Bristol City today.”
Watford showed all the initiative in the first half as Andre Carrillo broke the deadlock with a good feint and finish from inside the box.
Goals from Troy Deeney and Etienne Capoue in the second period killed off any hope of an unlikely City comeback.
Silva was complimentary of the professionalism displayed by his team, particularly given the visitors’ victory over them in August.
“Of course, when we played against them (in the League Cup) we didn’t perform well. We didn’t perform in the right way as well,” said the Portuguese coach.
“Today, everything was different. I think we had to respect ourselves and respect the competition. Our goal is to play the next round and it’s clear we deserved this victory.”
He also praised Carrillo and Roberto Pereyra’s performances, admitting their involvement for multiple reasons.
They’re “important players for us,” he began.
“It’s a good opportunity as well to give some rest for Richarlison. Of course, Carrillo is doing very well, every match he improves and improves with more confidence.
“And Pereyra is a really important player for me and I hope it’s the moment for him to start to grow his physical condition to play in his level and the level I think he can go.”
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