Date: 23rd August 2006 at 11:07pm
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West Ham boss Alan Pardew felt that Watford deserved all three points from the Premirship encounter at Vicarage Road.

“When I saw the fixture list, I feared that we’d catch them all bushy-tailed and positive in their opening home game and that was the mode they were in,” Pardew told the club`s official site.

“They made it difficult for us to get any of our quality into the match and, if I was a neutral, I’d have to say that Watford deserved to win,” reflected the former Reading manager.

“Their endeavour and organisation certainly stopped us from playing and they put us under pressure in a tough, physical encounter. We really wanted to win tonight but it was a tall order because they gained the momentum and that made it difficult for us to stop them.”

Indeed, the Irons boss switched from the conventional 4-4-2 formation that he played against Charlton on Saturday to a 3-5-2 system to deal with Watford`s ‘direct` style of play.

“Coming here, I knew that I would need another centre-half to deal with all the set pieces, long-throws and goalkeeper’s direct kicks to the edge of our penalty area and, with Yossi Benayoun suffering with sore feet ahead of our trip to Liverpool, it was a good opportunity to bring in James Collins and get some width via Paul Konchesky and John Pantsil,” said Pardew.

“But I’ve come up against that style of play throughout my career, against the likes of Wimbledon, Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers, and you have to pay credit to Watford for how they performed tonight.”

“I don’t see any reason why they can’t keep that up here this season.”