Jay Spearing saluted Wanderers’ performance in their narrow FA Cup fourth round defeat to Everton and said the team could take plenty of positives from their display.
Dougie Freedman’s Whites were cruelly denied a replay at Goodison Park when John Heitinga hit a stoppage-time winner, after Marvin Sordell’s equaliser looked to have secured a well-earned draw.
But Spearing was adamant that, despite exiting the competition, he and his teammates could be proud of their efforts against the Champions League-chasing Toffees.
Speaking after the game, the midfielder said: “I thought we played some really good football and put them under a lot of pressure. The lads are all devastated that we’ve come out of the game with nothing.
“When they scored we responded well and got ourselves going again. We changed it up a bit and, as I said, played some really good stuff.
“When the manager spoke to us at half-time he was very happy with our performance. He told us that we should carry on doing what we were doing and to keep getting on the ball so we could play our game.
“In the second half we came out strong. They had another spell of possession, which they were always going to have as a Premier League side, but I thought we coped well.
“The manager was proud of us and the way we played. We showed good character to come back and get the equaliser after going behind and that was very pleasing for us. Now we have to turn our attentions back to the league when we travel to Watford on Saturday.”
The clash against the Hornets this weekend will provide a stern test, with Gianfranco Zola’s side in superb form. And although Spearing is aware that the Whites will not have it easy at Vicarage Road, he is fully focussed and confident that the team can get a positive result.
He said: “We need to prepare properly for that now and forget about the game against Everton. We know it’s going to be difficult given the form Watford have been in lately.
“They’ve picked up plenty of points and scored a lot of goals too, but we will be striving to get the three points next weekend.”