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Flores delighted with two-goal Ighalo's decision to stick with Hornets

Published 19/09/2015

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores was thrilled by Odio Ighalo's display at Newcastle
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores was thrilled by Odio Ighalo's display at Newcastle

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores was delighted striker Odio Ighalo decided to turn his back on summer offers after seeing him shoot down Newcastle.

The Nigeria international's first-half double condemned the Magpies to a 2-1 home defeat and an even longer wait for their first Barclays Premier League win of the season.

But after the Hornets had picked up their second successive win, Ighalo's manager was thrilled at not only his efforts, both those of his entire team.

Flores explained: "He took a decision two months ago to stay here at Watford - he had offers from other teams.

"He decided to stay here with us, so it's clever because he saw something in the football that is good for him.

"He is involved a lot with the team in training during the week, so for us, he is a very important player.

"But I like to talk about the full squad because they are fighting like heroes every single week, they are playing really, really well. They try to improve every time and give the best they have, so it's not only one man.

"It was nice for Ighalo, but it was a very good performance from the whole squad."

Ighalo took the game away from Newcastle within 28 minutes of the kick-off when he capitalised on some woeful defending to put them ahead after just 10 minutes and then effectively seal the win.

Daryl Janmaat gave the Magpies hope when he pulled one back with 28 minutes remaining - and he tested goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes with a 67th-minute piledriver.

It was the Magpies' first league goal in 464 minutes of football - but it was not enough to prevent them extending a desperate record of just one win in 17 outings dating back to last season.

Head coach Steve McClaren, who heard his side booed from the pitch at the end of both halves, said: "I can understand the fans' reaction.

"We are just turning things around and I think the majority understand that. Like we have said to the boys in the dressing room, it's not a crisis, it's not a time to panic - it's too early, and we'd never do that anyway.

"No matter where you are at what stage, we'd never do that, we have too much experience to know that.

"Like I've said to the players, we have got to stick together. We are going to get a lot of criticism and that can be flying from not just media, but also fans, and in that dressing room we have got to stay tight, we have got to stay calm, we have got to stick together.

"I am under no illusions, this is a hard job - everybody knew that and you know it. You want proof, we've got proof.

"But we have got the experience in the backroom staff to deal with this and turn it around. We are lucky that it's early - it's only two and a half months that we've been working with each other and there's a long way to go and a lot of things to do."

Flores was by far the happier man as he headed south with the three points.

He said: "I am really happy with the performance of the players. I think we deserved the result.

"We respect Newcastle - they tried to play well, strong and tried to give their best, but I am really happy with the performance."

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