Roy Hodgson helps Watford plug their leaky defence following his return to management last month

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Roy Hodgson helps Watford plug their leaky defence following his return to management last month with the Hornets, following a stalemate draw against Burnley at Turf Moor

  • Watford drew 0-0 against Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday evening
  • The Hornets picked up their first cleansheet of the season in the stalemate
  • Roy Hodgson returned to management last month at the age of 74 


You did not need Roy Hodgson’s wealth of football knowledge to realise where Watford’s biggest problem lay when he returned to management at the age of 74 last month.

A run of eight defeats and one draw in nine games had seen Watford concede 24 goals, and that cost Claudio Ranieri his job at Vicarage Road.

Enter Hodgson. His first task was to plug a leaky defence, and he spent the winter break working tirelessly with his players on the training ground to achieve that goal.

Roy Hodgson returned to management at the age of 74 last month to try and help Watford

Roy Hodgson returned to management at the age of 74 last month to try and help Watford

It paid off at Turf Moor as Hodgson’s first game also brought Watford’s first Premier League clean sheet in 31 matches and for nearly two years — a sequence that, incredibly, spanned six managers employed by the trigger-happy Pozzo family.

‘The best way not to lose is to keep a clean sheet,’ said left back Hassane Kamara, a £4million signing from Nice in the January window. ‘We had two weeks of training. He has worked very hard on the defensive side, organising us and making us difficult to beat.

‘We have to work, work, work in training, but we can only be satisfied when we win and are not relegated.’ The two sides fought out a goalless draw that does little to change the relegation picture.

The Hornets picked up their first clean sheet of the season against Burnley at Turf Moor

The Hornets picked up their first clean sheet of the season against Burnley at Turf Moor

It was a brutal introduction to English football for Burnley’s new 6ft 6in signing Wout Weghorst, who made his debut after a £12m move from Wolfsburg.

The Dutchman, sporting a bruise over his left eye, said: ‘Yeah, welcome to England! The guys have already told me to get used to it.’

Watford go again at West Ham on Tuesday while the Clarets host Manchester United. ‘It’s a big game,’ added Weghorst. ‘But so is every game until the end of the season.’

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