Gianfranco Zola supports referee over Bristol City postponement but has most disappointment for Watford fans

Watford Observer: Gianfranco Zola in discussion with referee Michael Naylor. Picture: Action Images Gianfranco Zola in discussion with referee Michael Naylor. Picture: Action Images

Gianfranco Zola said referee Michael Naylor had no option but to call off Watford’s Boxing Day clash at Bristol City, but felt most disappointment for the Hornets’ travelling supporters.

There had been steady rainfall in the build-up to the game but this became torrential around 30 minutes before the kick off, flooding an increasing portion of the playing surface as each minute passed.

Despite the Ashton Gate groundstaff forking the pitch and using roller mops – and the referee delaying kick off by 15 minutes in the hope the conditions would improve – the battle was lost.

The Watford head coach said: “The pitch was absolutely unplayable so it would have been too risky for the players and also the spectacle for the spectators wouldn’t have been good enough, so I think it was the right decision.

“When we first arrived here, you could see already the pitch was on the edge. It was ok but it had a lot of water as soon as it started raining. When the referee decided to call it off it was unplayable.”

Although the Hornets trained on Christmas Day afternoon before travelling to Bristol yesterday evening, Zola was philosophical about the postponement and said:“This is something that you cannot control. It’s a pity for the supporters because they travelled a long journey on Boxing Day and so the disappointment for more is for them.”

The visiting players went over to the Hornets faithful after the announcement was made, with some sliding in the water while some shirts were also thrown into the crowd. “We are establishing a very good relationship with them,” said Zola, “so it was the minimum we could do to say thank you very much for coming all the way down here and I hope they appreciate it.”

While the outcome to today’s game was both frustrating and disappointing, it does mean Watford have a longer than expected gap between matches ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Hornets head coach remarked: “It certainly makes a big difference because obviously we are not going to play as many games as we thought in a short period of time, so that will allow me to reconsider my plans and we’ll see what we can do. Obviously it’s going to be difficult tomorrow to train because the conditions, they look like they are bad but we’re going to get organised.”

Comments (12)

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5:42pm Wed 26 Dec 12

goldenboy1993 says...

This was good for watford, it means players fresh for brighton, the conditions would have favoured bristol and there would have been injuries. Even though I made the trip I am glad this one was called off.
This was good for watford, it means players fresh for brighton, the conditions would have favoured bristol and there would have been injuries. Even though I made the trip I am glad this one was called off. goldenboy1993
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Wed 26 Dec 12

Bush Hornet says...

Massive shame but yes I guess there's some positives. I'm feeling for everyone who made the trip hope they found a nice pub in Bristol. There are worse places on earth
Massive shame but yes I guess there's some positives. I'm feeling for everyone who made the trip hope they found a nice pub in Bristol. There are worse places on earth Bush Hornet
  • Score: 0

7:31pm Wed 26 Dec 12

buckler says...

Bush Hornet wrote:
Massive shame but yes I guess there's some positives. I'm feeling for everyone who made the trip hope they found a nice pub in Bristol. There are worse places on earth
No nice anything in Bristol! Right decision though.
[quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: Massive shame but yes I guess there's some positives. I'm feeling for everyone who made the trip hope they found a nice pub in Bristol. There are worse places on earth[/p][/quote]No nice anything in Bristol! Right decision though. buckler
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Wed 26 Dec 12

aussihornet says...

Cassetti unavailable for Brighton tho. Good or bad thing, Buckley pace would have been extremely tricky for him. Anya would mean pace for pace.
Cassetti unavailable for Brighton tho. Good or bad thing, Buckley pace would have been extremely tricky for him. Anya would mean pace for pace. aussihornet
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Wed 26 Dec 12

Poppet Bear says...

Still in the top six with a game in hand against a team in the bottom three. Can't be bad.
Still in the top six with a game in hand against a team in the bottom three. Can't be bad. Poppet Bear
  • Score: 0

11:31am Thu 27 Dec 12

jasonwatford says...

Just been looking at twitter accounts for some of the watford players such as fernando , vydra , pudil etc and ive never seen such happy players at a club ...... They seem to love being here and we love them too. So happy to be a hornet !!! See you all at brighton and charlton and man city !!!
Just been looking at twitter accounts for some of the watford players such as fernando , vydra , pudil etc and ive never seen such happy players at a club ...... They seem to love being here and we love them too. So happy to be a hornet !!! See you all at brighton and charlton and man city !!! jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

11:53am Thu 27 Dec 12

lutondown says...

Bush Hornet wrote:
Massive shame but yes I guess there's some positives. I'm feeling for everyone who made the trip hope they found a nice pub in Bristol. There are worse places on earth
There is. Luton.
[quote][p][bold]Bush Hornet[/bold] wrote: Massive shame but yes I guess there's some positives. I'm feeling for everyone who made the trip hope they found a nice pub in Bristol. There are worse places on earth[/p][/quote]There is. Luton. lutondown
  • Score: 0

11:54am Thu 27 Dec 12

Colin West's mullet says...

well I had Watford, Spurs, WBA in a £10 treble so I'm in a right strop. In the old days we'd have played them in the car park.
well I had Watford, Spurs, WBA in a £10 treble so I'm in a right strop. In the old days we'd have played them in the car park. Colin West's mullet
  • Score: 0

11:56am Thu 27 Dec 12

lutondown says...

goldenboy1993 wrote:
This was good for watford, it means players fresh for brighton, the conditions would have favoured bristol and there would have been injuries. Even though I made the trip I am glad this one was called off.
Me too, felt strangely ok about it. Thought our fans handled the news brilliantly, and our players are top drawer. Anyone who questioned their commitment have by and large slithered away. Good, stay under that rock
[quote][p][bold]goldenboy1993[/bold] wrote: This was good for watford, it means players fresh for brighton, the conditions would have favoured bristol and there would have been injuries. Even though I made the trip I am glad this one was called off.[/p][/quote]Me too, felt strangely ok about it. Thought our fans handled the news brilliantly, and our players are top drawer. Anyone who questioned their commitment have by and large slithered away. Good, stay under that rock lutondown
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Thu 27 Dec 12

DuffmanWFC says...

I was so gutted about the game being called off but it was for the best.
Our players commitment, passion and desire to win is so so impressive and the fact that they are happy and enjoying playing for us is fantastic!
The sooner we sign Abdi, Pudil, Vydra, Forestieri and Ekstrand on permenant deals the better! Then all the stupid plonkers that moaned about the amount of loanees we had and that they were mercenaries can get lost for good!
What the Pozzo's, Zola, the board and the players have achieved in such a short period of time is nothing less then amaizing!
Another 3 points on Saturday and then three more at home to Charlton will be massive for us! Come on you horns!
I was so gutted about the game being called off but it was for the best. Our players commitment, passion and desire to win is so so impressive and the fact that they are happy and enjoying playing for us is fantastic! The sooner we sign Abdi, Pudil, Vydra, Forestieri and Ekstrand on permenant deals the better! Then all the stupid plonkers that moaned about the amount of loanees we had and that they were mercenaries can get lost for good! What the Pozzo's, Zola, the board and the players have achieved in such a short period of time is nothing less then amaizing! Another 3 points on Saturday and then three more at home to Charlton will be massive for us! Come on you horns! DuffmanWFC
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Travelling Hornet says...

jasonwatford wrote:
Just been looking at twitter accounts for some of the watford players such as fernando , vydra , pudil etc and ive never seen such happy players at a club ...... They seem to love being here and we love them too. So happy to be a hornet !!! See you all at brighton and charlton and man city !!!
Thinking the same thing meself .
[quote][p][bold]jasonwatford[/bold] wrote: Just been looking at twitter accounts for some of the watford players such as fernando , vydra , pudil etc and ive never seen such happy players at a club ...... They seem to love being here and we love them too. So happy to be a hornet !!! See you all at brighton and charlton and man city !!![/p][/quote]Thinking the same thing meself . Travelling Hornet
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Sat 29 Dec 12

Mohandas says...

The unexpected rest will do our players a power of good and with guaranteed extra push from fans should see us take good care of Charlton.
The unexpected rest will do our players a power of good and with guaranteed extra push from fans should see us take good care of Charlton. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

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