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Rob Edwards hails ‘incredible’ front three as Watford beat Sheffield United

Rob Edwards got off to a winning start (Adam Davy/PA)
Rob Edwards got off to a winning start (Adam Davy/PA)

Rob Edwards admitted the contributions of Emmanuel Dennis and Ismaila Sarr were key to Watford marking the manager’s first game in charge with a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United.

The future of the two forwards remains uncertain but the pair combined to set up the decisive goal that was converted by Joao Pedro in the 56th minute.

Edwards was keen to highlight the spirit and commitment of his side but conceded his three-man strikeforce helped make the difference as the relegated Hornets got their Championship campaign off to a winning start with a first home league victory in 255 days.

“Obviously there was a lot of good performances but the fact that they (Dennis and Sarr) are still here, they’re still playing, it changes I suppose what you can do in this cycle,” said the manager.

“It’s hard for me to talk just about individuals when we had a performance like that. I think there’s no doubt that front three were incredible tonight.”

He added: “I think the reason we won was because there was a commitment and a spirit to run and work hard.

“Then I thought you can see that right from the front all the way through from every player.

“Without doubt the most pleasing thing was the togetherness shown by the players.

“It’s really pleasing tonight that we’re able to reward the supporters with a win because obviously it’s been a long, long time since they’ve seen that at home.”

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom admitted his side were undone by Watford’s forward threat.

He said: “We knew the threats of Watford, the front three at the minute are probably the best in the league or most dangerous, got real big moments in him both individually and as a three.

“And we knew the game was going to be about their threat on the counter. And it played that way.”

Heckingbottom’s team selection was affected by injuries to a number of key players while the manager only discovered last Thursday that new signing  Anel Ahmedhodzic – a centre-back signed from Malmo – would be forced to serve a one-match suspension, a hangover from his spell in France last season.

The manager added: “It should have been declared earlier but we only found out when his clearance came through on Thursday.

“We’ve spoke to the FA and said ‘look, this is through no fault of his own. Can we push it back, still serve his thing and still have him available?’.

“But no, they wouldn’t. We felt we had a good case but again, I wasn’t privy to all that but we did get lawyers involved in things but that got knocked back.”