Martin Dubravka has a message for his Newcastle team-mates

Martin Dubravka says Newcastle United must forget about their defeat to Liverpool '“ and go on the attack against Watford.

Friday, 28th December 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 8:59 pm
Martin Dubravka.

The club suffered the heaviest defeat of Rafa Benitez’s tenure at Anfield on Boxing Day.

Benitez’s side were convincingly beaten 4-0 by the Premier League leaders.

The result left United 15th in the Premier League, and five points clear of the relegation zone, ahead of tomorrow’s game at Vicarage Road.

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Liverpool took the lead through a first-half strike from Dejan Lovren.

Mohamed Salah doubled their advantage from a disputed penalty and Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho netted late goals.

“We knew that it would be a tough game,” said Dubravka.

“We were playing the leaders of the table. We knew that they would push from the beginning.

“Unfortunately, the result is 4-0, which is not good for us. The first half is probably not bad from our side, but unfortunately we didn’t create a 100% chance.

“I think we had one good chance. It’s very hard to play against them.”

Dubravka and his team-mates felt they had a chance of getting back into the game at the break, but referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot early in the second half when Salah went down after the slightest of contact from Paul Dummett.

However, Salah will not face any punishment for his dive, according to reports.

“We said we still had chances to do something, because it was still 1-0,” said 29-year-old Dubravka.

“We knew that if we were patient and compact, we could score some goals or create some chances from the counter-attack, but unfortunately they scored a goal from a penalty in the first two minutes, and then it was very difficult to find the space and create something.

“You have to give them the credit. We gave them too much in front of our box, and they took advantage.”

Dubravka has urged his team-mates to quickly forget about the Liverpool game and focus on Watford, who are ninth in the Premier League.

“We have another game, so we have to be focused about this game,” said the goalkeeper.

“Forget about this result. We knew that it would be a tough game. We have to look forward now and hopefully we can get a good result in the next game.”

The Watford game is following by a January 2 home fixture against Manchester United.

The club, which sacked Jose Mourinho this month, has won back-to-back league games under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“It’s a very tough period,” said Dubravka, who made his debut in a 1-0 home win over Man United in February.

“You have to say that sometimes it’s good if you lose like this that you have another opportunity to change something very quickly.

“I really hope that, in the game against Watford, we start a little bit more offensive. We will create some chances. Hopefully, we can get a good result.”

Meanwhile, Watford manager Javi Gracia says his team is in a “good moment” – despite their Boxing Day defeat to Chelsea.

“We’re in a good moment,” said Gracia.

“I have good feelings, because we can win and we can lose, but when I see my players, I know they give their best and compete in all the games. “We’ve had options against all the teams we have played.

“I’m happy with their behaviour, and I’m sure we’ll keep it in the future as well.

“I’m proud of the effort of my players. We try to do better and get a better result next time.”

Watford were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea at Vicarage Road.

Eden Hazard scored both the visitors’ goals, while Roberto Pereyra netted for Gracia’s side.

“We know it’s difficult against Chelsea, because they are a very good team with a very good squad,” said Gracia.

“We knew it would be difficult to get a good result, but we have tried.

“We were playing better in the second half, with more time in the opposition half and dominating when we conceded the second goal.

“It was a shame when we were playing well that we conceded the second goal.”