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Watford have big expectations on Senegal’s Sarr - Hodgson after Brighton defeat

16:00 GMT+3 13/02/2022
Ismaila Sarr Watford Premier League
The former England manager was pleased with the Lion of Teranga’s contribution, considering he had only returned from Afcon celebrations on Friday

Watford manager Roy Hodgson has revealed what is expected from Ismaila Sarr after he returned to action in the team’s 2-0 Premier League defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

After winning the Africa Cup of Nations trophy with Senegal after a 4-2 penalty shootout win against Egypt, the 23-year-old returned to the Hornets squad as a substitute against the Seagulls.

Sarr came off the bench to make his first appearance since November when he picked an injury against Manchester United, and he gave the struggling team a lift following his introduction alongside fellow substitute Imran Louza.

However, The Hornets failed to get something from the game as goals from Neal Maupay in the 44th minute and Adam Webster in the 83rd minute condemned them to their 15th defeat of the season in the top-flight.

The former England manager has revealed his happiness at Sarr’s contribution in the game considering he had only arrived from Cameroon on Friday.

“[Sarr] is a player we are hoping will give us something a bit extra, but it was a big ask for him today,” Hodgson told the club’s official website.

“The thing with Sarr is that he only came back on Friday lunchtime from a long trip and was feeling very tired, and he did remarkably well to make himself available on the bench.

“I have quite a lot of faith in fans. I would have thought not many fans would have expected Sarr to have started the game when he got off a plane on Friday morning very tired and has not done one training session with the team.

“Going forward I have big expectations for him, and we as a team have an expectation of what we want to see from him.”

On the team’s performance, Hodgson admitted the Golden Boys will need to improve going into the remainder of the campaign if they are to be successful in their fight against relegation.

“We weren’t good enough to win the game and I thought our first-half performance was much worse than I was expecting it to be,” Hodgson continued. “Having analysed my first two games in charge, and having seen the players in training, we had high hopes.

“Certainly, in the first half, we did a lot to dash the hopes ourselves, but in the second half, we started more brightly. We showed more confidence and played the sort of football I had been expecting.

“After we conceded the goal just before half-time, we felt the need to pile some attackers on the field in order to get a goal back which almost worked for us with Dennis’ shot against the crossbar.”

Watford will next travel to face Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday.