July 8, 2020 / 6:32 AM / a month ago

Watford's Pearson says Welbeck's hard work paying off

(Reuters) - Watford striker Danny Welbeck will view his goal in Tuesday’s 2-1 Premier League victory over Norwich City as a step in the right direction after an injury-plagued start to life at the club, manager Nigel Pearson has said.

Premier League - Watford v Norwich City - Vicarage Road, Watford, Britain - July 7, 2020 Watford's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring their second goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Matt Dunham/Pool via REUTERS

Welbeck registered his first league goal for Watford since joining them at the start of the campaign, with a spectacular bicycle kick winner in the second half.

Having struggled with injury during his five-year spell at former side Arsenal, Welbeck’s problems appeared to continue at Watford after he injured his hamstring in October.

Pearson said the striker’s hard work to get fully fit had paid off.

“He’s a player with a lot of ability and he’s had a really good career. To have a winner of such quality is great for us because it was a difficult game,” Pearson told reporters.

“I’m pleased for Danny, but I know him, he’ll see this as a step in the right direction for himself having had a frustrating time with injury.

“So for him I know he will feel that all the hard work that he’s put in to get himself back to match fitness has paid off. The goal was an added bonus, but I thought he played and worked exceptionally hard for his team.”

Victory left 17th-placed Watford with 31 points from 34 matches, four points above the relegation zone.

“It’s not breathing space,” Pearson said. “We had been unable to find a win so far and it’s not been easy to acclimatise, but it’s a very important win.

“We’ve now got four games in which we’ve got to pick up enough points to keep us up ourselves. We don’t have an opportunity to not stay focused, it’s really important.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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