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Hodgson hails composed, confident side after Watford win

Manager Roy Hodgson hailed his composed and confident Watford side, who won 1-0 away at Aston Villa on Saturday to record their first victory since November and give themselves a boost in their battle to avoid relegation.

Emmanuel Dennis scored 12 minutes from time to hand the veteran manager his first win since taking charge at Vicarage Road last month.

“I’m very happy, I thought the base that the back four and midfield three gave us was very important and there’s still a lot more to come from the three attackers,” said the former England manager, whose counter-attack tactics proved successful.

“The key to our victory was the three midfield players. They did very well with the ball and without the ball, and that gave the back four the protection to keep Aston Villa at bay.”

Hodgson was particularly complimentary of the role that Ismaila Sarr played in his first start for the club since injuring his knee in their 4-1 win over Manchester United in November — their last win before Saturday.

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“Sarr is very highly rated, and we still have an awful lot to get from him. We see glimpses but if we’re going to stay in the league we want more than glimpses, we need match-winning performances.

“He was good today, he got on the ball and produced a good cross and Dennis was in the right place to finish it off and give us the three points which I thought the team performance deserved.

“I thought our composure on the ball was better, we showed a lot more confidence to get on the ball, pass the ball and look to create chances,” the 74-year-old manager added.

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