Watford boss Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win at Blackpool

First published in Sport by

Gianfranco Zola admitted Watford’s failure to keep possession was the major reason why Blackpool were able to come from two behind and draw with his side this afternoon.

The Hornets were relatively comfortable going into half time following two goals in the opening 21 minutes.

But during the second half, Blackpool enjoyed wave after wave of attacks as Watford were unable to retain possession, which resulted in Isaiah Osbourne scoring an equaliser in injury time.

Zola said: “In a way I am disappointed with the point because I thought the game was gone. It is fair to say that in the second half, they did play better than us and created a lot of chances so the draw was the fair result.

“But it was a good performance from us in general because it is not easy for anyone to come here and get a point.”

He continued: “I knew it would be difficult in the second half but I didn’t think it was going to be that difficult though. Blackpool are a good team with good players and when the number eight came on, Gomes, he made a big difference in the midfield.

“I was expecting my team to hold the ball better than we did in the second half. In the second half we couldn’t keep hold of it and kept giving it back to them. That was the difference between us winning the game and drawing it.

“Even for the last goal, we were in control and then lost it, which is disappointing.”

Watford did not keep possession particularly well in the first half but their counter-attacking was effective.

However, their ability to keep the ball was even worse in the second half and that, combined with substitutions and tactical changes by Michael Appleton, meant Blackpool were much improved and restricted Watford to one long range effort from Nathaniel Chalobah following the break.

Zola was asked why his team were unable to keep possession, he replied: “First of all, in the second half you are more tired. That is something you can’t underestimate. Secondly, they put more pressure on and we should have been able to hold that pressure.

“The other thing is our midfield is good when we are playing forward but, at the moment, not when holding on to the ball. So in that sense, Almen Abdi is such an important player because it gives us a lot of balance because Almen is able to hold on to the ball when under pressure.”

When asked if Watford missed Abdi and Jonathan Hogg, Zola replied: “It would be unfair to say that towards Battocchio and players who took their place because Battocchio played a great game, as did Mark Yeates in the first half. I am saying that in certain moments of the game, we especially missed Almen because he could have helped us a lot in midfield and ensured we held the ball longer.”

There was a clear emphasis on counter-attacking football this afternoon, particularly in the first half when they did so well.

The selection of Ikechi Anya and Matej Vydra suggested the Hornets may look to play a counter-attacking style but Zola stressed there was more to their inclusion than that.

“That was one of the reasons they were picked,” he said. “The other reason was that when we played Leeds, Anya played well and Marco Cassetti picked up an injury in the last game and he only came back into training for the last two days, so it was better not to pick him.

“But Anya has become a guarantee for us because he can always give us something different in that position.

“As for Vydra, he played against Leeds and was fantastic, scoring two goals, but then I had to leave him out because he went to the national team.

“So it was correct to play him today and also the game suited him as well. He played a good game.”

So would Zola consider today’s result one point gained or two lost?

“It depends on the way you look at it. If you say, I am coming to Blackpool, a team not long relegated from the Premier League, and you get a point then it is a good point.

“But if you look at the way we played and how the game was going, then you say that it is a point dropped.”

Click here to read the report from today's game.

Comments (17)

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6:57pm Sat 24 Nov 12

aussihornet says...

Feels like a defeat, however after reflection, a decent point.

Missed Abdi & Hogg hugely. To end up with a midfield middle 3 aging 17, 18 & 19 is asking too much playing Blackpool.

Hoping at least one of the two missing return, doyley to come back in for Joel Ekstrand, & FF to toy with Sheff Weds I hope.

Dissapointed, but s**t happens.
Feels like a defeat, however after reflection, a decent point. Missed Abdi & Hogg hugely. To end up with a midfield middle 3 aging 17, 18 & 19 is asking too much playing Blackpool. Hoping at least one of the two missing return, doyley to come back in for Joel Ekstrand, & FF to toy with Sheff Weds I hope. Dissapointed, but s**t happens. aussihornet
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Bush Hornet says...

Well kids I can't say it felt like a loss because that 2nd goal was coming all the time (I listened in on Player. Good noise coming from travelling fans).

Larry Hagman's passing - now THAT is a loss.
Well kids I can't say it felt like a loss because that 2nd goal was coming all the time (I listened in on Player. Good noise coming from travelling fans). Larry Hagman's passing - now THAT is a loss. Bush Hornet
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Sat 24 Nov 12

lutondown says...

Bush Hornet wrote:
Well kids I can't say it felt like a loss because that 2nd goal was coming all the time (I listened in on Player. Good noise coming from travelling fans).

Larry Hagman's passing - now THAT is a loss.
Bush, I feel the same way. Even when we were 2-1 up I thought I'd settle for the draw. Outplayed midfield, obviously missing Abdi. Saw some encouraging stuff from Battachio in first half.
Don't worry about Larry, the big chief upstairs will have his resurrection in a shower scene and dream scenario to dwarf Bobbys second coming!
How very gay sir!
[quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: Well kids I can't say it felt like a loss because that 2nd goal was coming all the time (I listened in on Player. Good noise coming from travelling fans). Larry Hagman's passing - now THAT is a loss.[/p][/quote]Bush, I feel the same way. Even when we were 2-1 up I thought I'd settle for the draw. Outplayed midfield, obviously missing Abdi. Saw some encouraging stuff from Battachio in first half. Don't worry about Larry, the big chief upstairs will have his resurrection in a shower scene and dream scenario to dwarf Bobbys second coming! How very gay sir! lutondown
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Bush Hornet says...

Oh I wish, but sadly there'll be no 2nd coming for JR. Like Watford without GT, Dallas fans will need to move on. That wet Bobby is not the answer though. Drop him I say
Oh I wish, but sadly there'll be no 2nd coming for JR. Like Watford without GT, Dallas fans will need to move on. That wet Bobby is not the answer though. Drop him I say Bush Hornet
  • Score: 0

12:15am Sun 25 Nov 12

stevyweavy says...

Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.
Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place. stevyweavy
  • Score: 0

7:34am Sun 25 Nov 12

SAHornet says...

stevyweavy wrote:
Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.
Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy
[quote][p][bold]stevyweavy[/bold] wrote: Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.[/p][/quote]Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy SAHornet
  • Score: 0

8:08am Sun 25 Nov 12

lutondown says...

SAHornet wrote:
stevyweavy wrote:
Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.
Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy
See them Boks have bragging rights this morning! Just watched the game. Niavity comes to mind!
[quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stevyweavy[/bold] wrote: Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.[/p][/quote]Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy[/p][/quote]See them Boks have bragging rights this morning! Just watched the game. Niavity comes to mind! lutondown
  • Score: 0

8:29am Sun 25 Nov 12

mattymashup says...

I would have settled for a draw at the start of the game. Thus time last year we would have lost, so in my view its a point gained.
I would have settled for a draw at the start of the game. Thus time last year we would have lost, so in my view its a point gained. mattymashup
  • Score: 0

10:52am Sun 25 Nov 12

allgood says...

On 3CR it sounded like their Manager changed the game with a Sub and tactical change after 30 minutes.
Also I have seen and heard comments in various places that Yeates should not have been taken off. He has certainly turned it around in the last couple of games!
On 3CR it sounded like their Manager changed the game with a Sub and tactical change after 30 minutes. Also I have seen and heard comments in various places that Yeates should not have been taken off. He has certainly turned it around in the last couple of games! allgood
  • Score: 0

10:59am Sun 25 Nov 12

lutondown says...

allgood wrote:
On 3CR it sounded like their Manager changed the game with a Sub and tactical change after 30 minutes.
Also I have seen and heard comments in various places that Yeates should not have been taken off. He has certainly turned it around in the last couple of games!
Yeates was the best I've seen for first twenty, then he went into I'm Maradonna mode, shooting when not on instead of passing. He decided not to put his foot in a few times too. This is when you need experience to play for the team not for your own glory. Yes lots of people knew better than Zola, we all do it, but we don't.
God did we lose?
[quote][p][bold]allgood[/bold] wrote: On 3CR it sounded like their Manager changed the game with a Sub and tactical change after 30 minutes. Also I have seen and heard comments in various places that Yeates should not have been taken off. He has certainly turned it around in the last couple of games![/p][/quote]Yeates was the best I've seen for first twenty, then he went into I'm Maradonna mode, shooting when not on instead of passing. He decided not to put his foot in a few times too. This is when you need experience to play for the team not for your own glory. Yes lots of people knew better than Zola, we all do it, but we don't. God did we lose? lutondown
  • Score: 0

11:16am Sun 25 Nov 12

phil mitchel says...

'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win'
I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse.
'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win' I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse. phil mitchel
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Sun 25 Nov 12

SAHornet says...

lutondown wrote:
SAHornet wrote:
stevyweavy wrote:
Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.
Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy
See them Boks have bragging rights this morning! Just watched the game. Niavity comes to mind!
Not a rugby man myself LD (how I survive here in SA I don't know. They know sfa about footie). Saw a clip on Sky news and don't understand why England went for the posts at the end. Can you explain to a non-rugby oke?
[quote][p][bold]lutondown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stevyweavy[/bold] wrote: Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.[/p][/quote]Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy[/p][/quote]See them Boks have bragging rights this morning! Just watched the game. Niavity comes to mind![/p][/quote]Not a rugby man myself LD (how I survive here in SA I don't know. They know sfa about footie). Saw a clip on Sky news and don't understand why England went for the posts at the end. Can you explain to a non-rugby oke? SAHornet
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Sun 25 Nov 12

lutondown says...

SAHornet wrote:
lutondown wrote:
SAHornet wrote:
stevyweavy wrote:
Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.
Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy
See them Boks have bragging rights this morning! Just watched the game. Niavity comes to mind!
Not a rugby man myself LD (how I survive here in SA I don't know. They know sfa about footie). Saw a clip on Sky news and don't understand why England went for the posts at the end. Can you explain to a non-rugby oke?
Don't you mean why did they not go for the posts? If so god knows!
[quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lutondown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stevyweavy[/bold] wrote: Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.[/p][/quote]Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy[/p][/quote]See them Boks have bragging rights this morning! Just watched the game. Niavity comes to mind![/p][/quote]Not a rugby man myself LD (how I survive here in SA I don't know. They know sfa about footie). Saw a clip on Sky news and don't understand why England went for the posts at the end. Can you explain to a non-rugby oke?[/p][/quote]Don't you mean why did they not go for the posts? If so god knows! lutondown
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Sun 25 Nov 12

JohnnyBarnes says...

phil mitchel wrote:
'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win'
I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse.
Well, I for one am happy for him to state the apparently obvious - rather than listen to Malky witter on about how we just need 'a bit of luck,' and the referee was bad.
Good results in football are driven by common sense, and Zola seems to have sorted out the defence after commenting that it lacked organisation, so I'm sure we'll see our midfield braver in possession after learning the hard way yesterday.

Happy with a point away at Blackpool anyway. It would've been hard enough to go there with Abdi and Eustace in the middle, never mind a trio of teenagers. Good education for them, so it all bodes well for the future.
[quote][p][bold]phil mitchel[/bold] wrote: 'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win' I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse.[/p][/quote]Well, I for one am happy for him to state the apparently obvious - rather than listen to Malky witter on about how we just need 'a bit of luck,' and the referee was bad. Good results in football are driven by common sense, and Zola seems to have sorted out the defence after commenting that it lacked organisation, so I'm sure we'll see our midfield braver in possession after learning the hard way yesterday. Happy with a point away at Blackpool anyway. It would've been hard enough to go there with Abdi and Eustace in the middle, never mind a trio of teenagers. Good education for them, so it all bodes well for the future. JohnnyBarnes
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Sun 25 Nov 12

lutondown says...

JohnnyBarnes wrote:
phil mitchel wrote:
'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win'
I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse.
Well, I for one am happy for him to state the apparently obvious - rather than listen to Malky witter on about how we just need 'a bit of luck,' and the referee was bad.
Good results in football are driven by common sense, and Zola seems to have sorted out the defence after commenting that it lacked organisation, so I'm sure we'll see our midfield braver in possession after learning the hard way yesterday.

Happy with a point away at Blackpool anyway. It would've been hard enough to go there with Abdi and Eustace in the middle, never mind a trio of teenagers. Good education for them, so it all bodes well for the future.
So right. Mind you I saw some suicidal stuff towards the end. Hoban, instead of clearing passing back into danger..goal Blackpool. Pudil in 92nd minute doing this back trick thing that nearly led to Blackpools winner. Both naive plays that come off when your 4 in front not hanging on for your life!
Good thing is this will get ironed out and isn't it good that we have a coach who sees our shortcomings rather than blames all and sundry?
[quote][p][bold]JohnnyBarnes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]phil mitchel[/bold] wrote: 'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win' I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse.[/p][/quote]Well, I for one am happy for him to state the apparently obvious - rather than listen to Malky witter on about how we just need 'a bit of luck,' and the referee was bad. Good results in football are driven by common sense, and Zola seems to have sorted out the defence after commenting that it lacked organisation, so I'm sure we'll see our midfield braver in possession after learning the hard way yesterday. Happy with a point away at Blackpool anyway. It would've been hard enough to go there with Abdi and Eustace in the middle, never mind a trio of teenagers. Good education for them, so it all bodes well for the future.[/p][/quote]So right. Mind you I saw some suicidal stuff towards the end. Hoban, instead of clearing passing back into danger..goal Blackpool. Pudil in 92nd minute doing this back trick thing that nearly led to Blackpools winner. Both naive plays that come off when your 4 in front not hanging on for your life! Good thing is this will get ironed out and isn't it good that we have a coach who sees our shortcomings rather than blames all and sundry? lutondown
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Sun 25 Nov 12

AngelHornet says...

phil mitchel wrote:
'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win'
I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse.
He made a poor decision putting Battochio in and leaving Cassetti on the bench. Too much inexperience in the centre of the park, plus Yeates.
Battochio needed a few games coming off the bench to get used to the pace of the Championship.
[quote][p][bold]phil mitchel[/bold] wrote: 'Gianfranco Zola believes failure to keep possession was why they didn't win' I'd have thought that was bleedin' obviouse.[/p][/quote]He made a poor decision putting Battochio in and leaving Cassetti on the bench. Too much inexperience in the centre of the park, plus Yeates. Battochio needed a few games coming off the bench to get used to the pace of the Championship. AngelHornet
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Mon 26 Nov 12

stevyweavy says...

SAHornet wrote:
stevyweavy wrote:
Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.
Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy
Crazy, few weeks ago would have settled for a draw at Blackpool as they are a difficult team to beat but now I am expecting us to win every match. Totally expecting worst case scenario is we will be in a play-off place but am expecting us to be challenging for an automatic promotion place. Every match we are improving and think we have the best squad in the league and it is a long while since I could say I am enjoying every match I see (even if we don't always put the ball in the net when we should and the results don't always go our way)
[quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stevyweavy[/bold] wrote: Gutted. Could of and should of been sitting in a playoff place by the end of today instead of 11th place.[/p][/quote]Gonna have to wait until next weekend then stevy[/p][/quote]Crazy, few weeks ago would have settled for a draw at Blackpool as they are a difficult team to beat but now I am expecting us to win every match. Totally expecting worst case scenario is we will be in a play-off place but am expecting us to be challenging for an automatic promotion place. Every match we are improving and think we have the best squad in the league and it is a long while since I could say I am enjoying every match I see (even if we don't always put the ball in the net when we should and the results don't always go our way) stevyweavy
  • Score: 0

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