Claudio Ranieri hailed hat-trick hero Joshua King after Watford stunned Everton with four late goals to win 5-2 away from home.
The new Hornets boss was on the receiving end of a Liverpool hammering in his first match in charge last week. But he flipped the script this weekend. His side were heading for a 2-1 defeat with less than 15 minutes left before a late onslaught.
Midfielder Juraj Kucka scored his first goal for the club, King netted his second and third goals of the game and Emmanuel Dennis added a fifth.
Despite the remarkable end to the match, Ranieri maintained perspective of the overall picture from the 90 minutes of action.
He said: “We did a lot of things good but also a few things I didn’t like. We had to work.
“I felt the players never gave up. Five goals against Liverpool is too much and I am very happy because we played quickly forward.
“Joshua King was amazing, not only for the three goals but also for how he holds the ball and and fights with the centre-backs.”
“Rome was not built in one night. We have to work hard. Finally this last week we worked together for the first time, of course we can improve.
“I am very happy and satisfied. We must continue this way, I don’t remember the last match, I forgot. Now is a very good week.”
King always had belief
King was returning to the club where he spent the second half of last season. He made 11 appearances for the Toffees and failed to find the net in any of them.
It was fitting, then, that his first Watford goals came at Goodison Park.
After his heroics, he said: “To be fair, we went in at half-time and it was 1-1 and we felt we could at least get a draw.
“Even when Richarlison scored I had a feeling we would get something out of this game. When we scored the header the belief just grew in the team.
“For a striker it is confidence. I had a horrible season last season. Any striker when you start scoring gets confidence.
“We needed the win today. This is a great group with togetherness. This is a team sport and sometimes I won’t score, sometimes I will. Any way I can contribute – goals or assists – I am happy.
“You have to bury the Liverpool game. They are on fire at the moment and probably the best team in the league along with Manchester City.
“This game was so important for us for our confidence. I think this game, especially second half will get us pushing.
“The manager has just come in, his second game in, and that was a good performance by the team.”
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