Belfast Telegraph

Everton interest hasn't distracted me, insists Watford boss Marco Silva

Marco Silva dismissed suggestions that Everton's interest in him has affected Watford's form after his Hornets suffered a fourth successive loss with defeat at Brighton.

The Hornets were flying high early in the season under their Portuguese coach but results have dipped dramatically in recent weeks with the 1-0 loss at the Amex Stadium, leaving them with just one Premier League point from the last 18 available.

Silva was heavily linked with the manager's job at Goodison Park last month before the Toffees plumped for Sam Allardyce.

Watford have suffered a downturn in form since Allardyce was appointed but Silva believes the two factors are not connected and feels injuries and suspensions have been the main issue.

"It doesn't make sense this comparison. Nothing changed in the club," Silva said.

"What changed now and what is different now... today we had one game to prepare with three players banned, with five or six players injured.

"At this moment we have big problems to find the solutions for our starting XI.

"And we need to find these solutions as soon as possible because it's a lot of games in a row and it's not easy to make the rotation, it's not easy to start the game with our best XI.

"Of course, it's not an excuse because the players that played this afternoon, they have quality as well and it's the moment for them to show it.

"Now is the moment for us to react as a team."

Brighton were the better team on Saturday, with Pascal Gross claiming the solitary goal in the 64th minute.

The German midfielder's low shot skidded under the body of Heurelho Gomes but Silva refused to blame his goalkeeper and admitted his team were poor.

"It's football - what Gomes did until now, he was very, very good in a very good level," Silva added.

"In some moments, he saved and did fantastic things for our team.

"I'm clear, it's not because of Gomes that we lost the game.

"We didn't perform well today. We didn't score and they won."

Brighton's victory ended their seven-game winless streak to move to within a point of their opponents.

Boss Chris Hughton was pleased with Albion's display but was disappointed they could not secure the three points earlier by scoring more goals.

"I think as an overall performance, the only thing that stopped that being right up there with the rest is that it's a performance that deserved more goals," Hughton said.

"Unfortunately for us, we didn't (score more), which applies a bit more pressure.

"Even though we were still creating chances at the end, you're going into the last phase of the game thinking that it might go against you because of the quality they've got.

"But I thought we thoroughly deserved it. The only downside is that it's a game we should have made more comfortable for ourselves."

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