Norwich City’s tormentor-in-chief Odion Ighalo has Quique Flores purring

Watford striker Odion Ighalo was too hot to handle for Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focu

Watford striker Odion Ighalo was too hot to handle for Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Watford chief Quique Sanchez Flores insisted Norwich's tormentor-in-chief Odion Ighalo is priceless.

The Nigerian international sealed the 2-0 win at Vicarage Road, with his ninth league goal of the campaign, after tormenting City's centre back duo Seb Bassong and Ryan Bennett.

Ighalo also had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in the first half in a vibrant display ably assisted by Hornets' captain Troy Deeney.

Flores batted away comparisons between Ighalo and Leicester's record-breaker Jamie Vardy after the win, with the Spaniard keen to hail his own deadly pair.

'Their attitude is amazing for their team mates and the fans. I only knew of them in the last four months so I don't know if they are surprising anyone else, but I had the feeling from the beginning they have a good understanding,' he said. 'The focus is there, they train hard every single day and they are important for us.

'I talk about the strikers in terms of their collective work, not only the goals, which of course is their responsibility. They understand the system, the high pressure we need, the defensive tasks we need. Our plan is not to just defend but to attack, sometimes on the floor, sometimes in the air. We have a lot of possibilities.

'If you talk about Ighalo and Vardy they are two players making the difference in this league but they are two completely different players, in terms of their conditions and qualities. Both are an example about how you should be completely focused on your profession and they show passion for what they are doing.'

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Deeney and Ighalo have now scored 14 of Watford's 17 Premier League goals and Flores knows he may have to ease the burden in January's upcoming transfer window as he strives to maintain Watford's push for a top-half finish.

'They are human beings, we have to think about the future and the Premier League is very tough and long so we have to think about these type of possibilities. We are always talking about the future,' he said. 'I'm not worried the other players are not scoring. I would be worried if we didn't create chances, put in crosses or if we were playing very far away from the opponent's box. This is not the case. The statistics reflect the match. My feeling is that we create different situations and when the match finishes I have the statistics which say Ighalo and Deeney have maybe three or four shots, Etienne Capoue has one, (Almen) Abdi and Jose Manuel Jurado have two.

'We are happy because we work every time to be competitive and improve. We try to be ambitious also in the same moment. It is very difficult to win game after game. This is the first time we have won two consecutive games. The players understand what they want, they trust me, and we have a big soul and a big connection with the fans.'

Flores was delighted with how Watford adapted to the blustery conditions to quell a positive start from the Canaries.

'I respect a lot this coach. He is doing very good work with this Norwich team. I think it was a very difficult win for us,' said Flores. 'Norwich started the match well and we had to stop them. We had to read the game well because Norwich played well in the opening 15 minutes. We tried to create a balance between attack and defence. Step-by-step, little-by-little we began to play a little bit better.

'The conditions were very difficult for both teams, with the wind, because the players needed to calculate the direction of the ball. But finally we started to play well and pass the ball through the central midfielders, Capoue and Ben Watson. After the penalty, I thought it was a little bit better to manage the match.'

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