BY OBEHI EGENE
Harry Kewell has nothing but praise for his Watford U-21 players after his side earned their first win of the Professional Development League season following a 2-1 victory over a strong Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.
Bernard Mensah and George Byers accounted for the goals and Kewell was particularly pleased with the character his side showed after conceding.
“I’m proud of the boys because they dug in today,” Kewell told Hornets PlayerHD after the final whistle.
“Even though they can play, they worked their socks off today, they dug in, they were compact in areas, and you could see they really wanted to win.
“We had a bit of luck and we did score two beautiful goals, but that’s football. It’s just fantastic that they’ve got the win and I’m just so pleased for them.
“It shows the character they’ve got now. They’re starting to get it. We’re doing everything right, but sometimes when we’ve gone down a goal, our heads have gone a little bit. Today we showed that we were up for the challenge, and up for the fight.
“I go back to the very first game I took charge, and the progression we are making is good. I think everyone who has been there from the first game can clearly say it’s a better team, they’re working together and they’re working better as a unit.
“The whole team played so well today, it’s great to have some of the older professionals out there too, and I thought both Belkalem and Britos were excellent today. They were at the heart of defence and it would have been an even tougher test for my boys if they weren’t out there today.
“And of course Lloyd, I know he’s been at the club for a long time but just the way he talks and communicates with players is just fantastic, I’m proud of all of them.”
Aged 35, Kewell retired from active football in 2014 following expiration of his contract with Melbourne Heart, where he scored twice in 16 appearances for the Australian club.
Kewell scored 90 goals in 281 matches in his professional club career that began at Leeds United in 196 and went on to also play for Liverpool, Galatasaray, Melbourne Victory and Al-Gharafa.