Gianfranco Zola was delighted with Watford’s performance at Ipswich Town despite the display being someway short of the resounding victory at the weekend.

The Hornets were clinical during tonight’s 2-0 win at Portman Road but for large parts of the match their ball retention was very poor.

Zola acknowledged his team’s shortcomings but highlighted their dogged resilience.

The Golden Boys’ head coach said: “If we compare it to the standard we set on Saturday then you wouldn’t say it was our best game but I am very pleased because you cannot play that type of football all the time and when you don’t, you need to be able to win games any way. That was the case tonight.

“I think we played some good football for a large part of the first half and deserved to be in front. In the second half we had to suffer because they came back strong and we got tired to be honest.

“We couldn’t control the ball as well as we did in the first half but we never gave up and worked hard as a team and defended extremely well.

“When we had opportunities, we scored. When they had the opportunities, they didn’t. That was the difference.

“I am delighted because it was a tough game. On a Tuesday night, after a good game like Saturday, it is easy to slip up and fall, as you can see around us; good teams have lost tonight. It tells you a lot so I am delighted for my team.”

Watford have now won ten matches on the road this season; a record which is unrivalled in the Championship.

Zola said: “We really play well away from home and sometimes I am surprised by what these players are doing. They are really performing at a level that is honestly unexpected considering that we are a young team that have just been assembled this year. They are doing things that make me very proud of them.”

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