Xisco Munoz focused on present not past as Watford chase fresh win over Norwich

The Hornets claimed two narrow victories over Norwich last season.
Watford manager Xisco Munoz got the better of Norwich City counterpart Daniel Farke on two occasions last season (Joe Giddens/PA)

Watford manager Xisco Munoz got the better of Norwich City counterpart Daniel Farke on two occasions last season (Joe Giddens/PA)

By George Sessions, PA

Xisco Munoz says Watford’s positive results against Norwich last season will count for little when they do battle on Saturday.

The Hornets finished second behind the Sky Bet Championship winners but did claim two 1-0 wins over Daniel Farke’s men during the 2020-21 campaign.

Another success over the Carrow Road outfit would be welcome for Xisco, who has watched his players lose three Premier League games in a row since an opening-day triumph over Aston Villa.

“No, always this is a new game, new scenario,” the 41-year-old said.

“We have respect for Norwich but we need to understand and go there with maximum power. We try to give balance and the best level, not only 20 or 25 minutes, we try to give our best level for a maximum amount of time.”

Key to a good result against the Canaries will be thwarting Finland international Teemu Pukki, a feat Watford achieved twice last term.

While Xisco is aware of the forward’s prowess in front of goal, he is more focused on the Hornets’ lack of success in attack having scored only four times all season.

“Pukki is for me the reference and he scores a lot of goals,” he added.

“We know the potential of him, he is a very good striker but we need to give our style, try to give more with the ball.

“We try different things and it is the game for us to take one step forward with these things.”

Emmanuel Dennis and Cucho Hernandez netted in Watford’s 3-2 win over Villa and fellow striker Ashley Fletcher was also on target against Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup last month.

Joshua King, another summer signing, is still to get off the mark for his new club but there is plenty of belief the goals will flow for the Watford attackers soon.

Xisco insisted: “I am very calm about our strikers. I saw the guys every day in training and they have very good talent to score.

“It was only these games and I am not afraid of this. It is not a big problem and when we have the balance, it will be the moment (they score).”

Teenager attacker Joao Pedro is still building up fitness after a knee injury and more likely to play against Stoke in the cup next week than at Norwich, but back-up goalkeeper Ben Foster and Kiko Femenia are set to be in contention.

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