Beppe Sannino admitted everyone associated with Watford deserves more when it comes to the club’s performances and league position.
The head coach also acknowledged the Hornets’ failure to close out the win against Blackburn Rovers following an injury-time goal was a reflection of the Hornets’ season as a whole.
The Golden Boys conceded a third and equalising Blackburn goal in the third minute of injury time at Vicarage Road to sacrifice two points and allow Rovers to return home with a 3-3 draw.
Errors from Watford’s defence and goalkeeper contributed to all three goals and the Hornets continually struggled to cope with the aerial threat of Blackburn, and in particular powerful striker Rudy Gestede.
“My disappointment is a lot. In English football and in this division, the last minutes are very important. This is the rule of English football,” Sannino said in English.
In Italian, he continued: “We nearly won this game. But it was not only this game. Since I have joined this club there have been many games where we have dropped points in the last five minutes of the game.
“This game reflects perfectly Watford’s season.”
Watford have conceded late in a host of matches during the current campaign and Sannino was asked if he knew why that was the case.
Speaking in English initially, he replied: “I believe their goalkeeper was the assist man of the game. Their [physical] striker was very important.”
In Italian, he added: “They created us a lot of problems with long balls into the box.
“I knew Blackburn could create problems physically in the box and we struggled with this.
“But I am disappointed because a football team should defend differently in the final three minutes of the match and finish the match [with the win].
“I am sure if we finished games ten minutes before then we would be in a different position and higher in the table.
“This is a disappointment for you [the media], for the crowd, for the club, for my players. Because all of you – the people who follow Watford – deserve more than we are giving you in terms of points, in terms of performance and in terms of the table.”
After a couple of outstanding saves early into the contest, Hornets goalkeeper Almunia had a particular poor evening as he continually punched deliveries he arguably should have caught.
Sannino said: “I can’t forget how many times Almunia has been important for us and you have to concede mistakes will be made sometimes and I don’t like to blame one player, it is all the team who win, draw and lose.”
Asked if there was a reason for the punching, with a potential injury mentioned, Sannino replied: “No. I don’t think there was any physical problem [which led to Almunia constantly punching].
“He had treatment after the second goal but he said he was ok to carry on so I don’t think there was a problem.
“When we concede a goal, I know you focus on the last part of the action but for me it is very important to look at where the action starts and maybe we could have disallowed them playing close to the goal.
“When you play against teams who have a very physical striker, you have to stop them putting the ball in the box.
“It was a fantastic game until the final three minutes at the end. I saw a beautiful goal from Cristian Battocchio so the supporters could have been very happy but when they equalised they would be very disappointed.
“I repeat, this game reflects our season perfectly.
“If you see the scores in the league tonight, there are crazy results and we were not able to take advantage of this. So I am sorry.”
Brighton & Hove Albion, Nottingham Forest, Reading and Wigan Athletic – who are competing for a play-off place - all lost tonight.
Victory against Blackburn could have moved Watford within eight points of the top six with a game in hand on most of the teams above them.
Instead Watford’s inability to win away from home since October 5 means they are now ten points away from the play-offs with only nine games remaining.
The Hornets’ play-off hopes have looked all-but over for a few weeks now after failing to win in three away games against teams currently in the bottom eight of the Championship.
When the frustration of failing to apply pressure on the top six was highlighted, following another kind set of results for the Golden Boys, Sannino said: “I can’t disagree with you, that is true.”
- Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer has called on the football authorities to clarify what is a handball after the Hornets were awarded a penalty. Read his comments here.
- Read our match report from the Watford versus Blackburn match here.