As a frustrating season for Will Hughes draws to an end, it is clear that the Englishman has certainly learnt a lot, even if not playing whilst doing so.
Reflecting on his first season in the Premier League, Hughes said “I knew when I came here that I wasn’t going to be an automatic starter. I worked very hard to get into the team, which I did after a lot of games, then I got an injury.
It’s been a frustrating season but I learnt a lot and I’m grateful for that. I knew it was going to be difficult so I’ll take that into next year and hopefully improve.”
To better himself as a player was unquestionably on the midfielder’s mind, much like increasing his game time under Hornets’ boss Javi Gracia. To improve and to ensure that he keeps playing in the starting eleven, Hughes said he will be focussing on getting more goals.
He added: “Over the years I’ve always tried to create and be that link between defence and attack. You’ve got to try and balance that with trying to get into the box and score goals. I’m still learning that and hopefully I will grab a few more.”
Having been named in the squad in all of the seven games Watford have played since returning from injury, Hughes had only positive things to say about his Spanish manager.
He said: “Javi has helped me improve a lot. He’s very personal, he’s one-on-one and he wants every individual in the squad to improve and he’s been brilliant so far.”
On his attacking colleagues, the Hornets’ fan favourite explained that “I definitely thrive off the competition. If it’s easy for a player and they are playing every week then they tend to take their foot off the gas. When you’ve got competition in the team it’s very healthy.”
Following the disappointing performance against Crystal Palace on Saturday, talk turned to Tottenham on Monday night. The midfielder, who when last at Wembley lost in a play-off final, exclaimed that “We’re not fooling ourselves. Tottenham away is as tough as they get. We have to go there with confidence and belief to get something, because if not, there’s no point in turning up. We’ve got to believe in ourselves… We’ve got to be defensively astute for this game because they are a top team. However, at the same time, we are not going to just sit back and let them come onto us. We want to try and score goals. The likes of playing Tottenham, United and Liverpool away is what attracts you to the games and is what attracted me to the Premier League.”