Watford boss Gianfranco Zola: 'My players are really performing at a level that is honestly unexpected'

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Group Sports Editor

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.”

Click here to read tonight's match report.

Comments (19)

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11:38pm Tue 19 Feb 13

M T Head says...

GFZ," They are doing things that make me very proud of them.”....Ditto
GFZ," They are doing things that make me very proud of them.”....Ditto M T Head
  • Score: 0

11:40pm Tue 19 Feb 13

KeithMercer says...

And we are proud of you GFZ and of course all your assistants .
Good turnout again tonight, well done to everybody that traveled . Now lets fill the Vic and make it LOUD !! COYHs
And we are proud of you GFZ and of course all your assistants . Good turnout again tonight, well done to everybody that traveled . Now lets fill the Vic and make it LOUD !! COYHs KeithMercer
  • Score: 0

12:03am Wed 20 Feb 13

micksolly says...

Sometimes you have 'grind out' a result as they say well done. A Cardiff wobble now would make things very interesting.
Sometimes you have 'grind out' a result as they say well done. A Cardiff wobble now would make things very interesting. micksolly
  • Score: 0

12:16am Wed 20 Feb 13

Bush Hornet says...

Lovely work Gianfranco and the boys.

Not often that I've been quietly cheering Brighton on. Well done the seagulls.

And nasty Leicester got the Charlton treatment at home, we know how that feels. So apart from Palace and Hull, a pretty good night.
Lovely work Gianfranco and the boys. Not often that I've been quietly cheering Brighton on. Well done the seagulls. And nasty Leicester got the Charlton treatment at home, we know how that feels. So apart from Palace and Hull, a pretty good night. Bush Hornet
  • Score: 0

12:46am Wed 20 Feb 13

willia6692 says...

Not the best performance in terms of possession, but 2-0 3 pts and against 12 men. Now time to avenge that result on Saturday, you horrrrrrnnnnnnsssss
Not the best performance in terms of possession, but 2-0 3 pts and against 12 men. Now time to avenge that result on Saturday, you horrrrrrnnnnnnsssss willia6692
  • Score: 0

8:29am Wed 20 Feb 13

chrisptrifle says...

Hilarious - reports on various websites have us fielding a number of Udinese loanees ranging from 5 to about 32, with anywhere from 5 to 20 in the starting line up.
Hilarious - reports on various websites have us fielding a number of Udinese loanees ranging from 5 to about 32, with anywhere from 5 to 20 in the starting line up. chrisptrifle
  • Score: 0

9:03am Wed 20 Feb 13

Travelling Hornet says...

Anya for Scotland!
Anya for Scotland! Travelling Hornet
  • Score: 0

9:13am Wed 20 Feb 13

suffolkhornet says...

REALLY ENJOYING LIVING IN LOWESTOFT TODAY!!!! THANK YOU ZOLA AND ALL THE BOYS .....IN YOU WE TRUST!
REALLY ENJOYING LIVING IN LOWESTOFT TODAY!!!! THANK YOU ZOLA AND ALL THE BOYS .....IN YOU WE TRUST! suffolkhornet
  • Score: 0

9:33am Wed 20 Feb 13

BigRussMalta says...

Tryed to text my bookie but ran out of credit,we've gone from 22/1 to 10/1 since last night COYH!!!! CARDIFF AT HOME IS MASSIVE!!
Tryed to text my bookie but ran out of credit,we've gone from 22/1 to 10/1 since last night COYH!!!! CARDIFF AT HOME IS MASSIVE!! BigRussMalta
  • Score: 0

9:55am Wed 20 Feb 13

AMP4WFC says...

...and I hope that you have learned the lesson of a "wholesale change" in the team. Yesterday was a perfect example of stability and change while resting important players. Good strategy GFZ and good game lads. Best of luck in the games to come. All of them are important if you want to reach the Prem.
...and I hope that you have learned the lesson of a "wholesale change" in the team. Yesterday was a perfect example of stability and change while resting important players. Good strategy GFZ and good game lads. Best of luck in the games to come. All of them are important if you want to reach the Prem. AMP4WFC
  • Score: 0

9:56am Wed 20 Feb 13

Only 2 Ross Jenkins says...

It will take just one Cardiff loss and Hull/watford win combination to draw Cardiff back in. The title is not done and dusted yet! COYH!
It will take just one Cardiff loss and Hull/watford win combination to draw Cardiff back in. The title is not done and dusted yet! COYH! Only 2 Ross Jenkins
  • Score: 0

10:06am Wed 20 Feb 13

DuffmanWFC says...

Great result last night and well done to the near 1,000 fans that went! That's brill support in between a big following to Brum and two home games!
Because Zola the staff and the lads are playing so well it makes us all want to go! I hope we can start to get the extra 1,500+ fans we need at home to cheer the lads on come Saturday!
Yeeeeeelllllooooowww
wwsss!
Great result last night and well done to the near 1,000 fans that went! That's brill support in between a big following to Brum and two home games! Because Zola the staff and the lads are playing so well it makes us all want to go! I hope we can start to get the extra 1,500+ fans we need at home to cheer the lads on come Saturday! Yeeeeeelllllooooowww wwsss! DuffmanWFC
  • Score: 0

10:17am Wed 20 Feb 13

peter10531089 says...

Loved the fact that on the post match manager comments
Zola said "we were below Saturdays standards but you cant play well all the time and when you cant then winning is great"
McCarthy " They were the best team we have seen this season and sometimes you are just beaten by the better team"

Firstly McCarthy showed class which is more than can be said for certain Bald Bristolians and secondly well done GFZ for using the squad without causing the disruption to results previously witnessed.

An Arsenal supporting friend just said at work that he wishes he supported Watford :-)
Loved the fact that on the post match manager comments Zola said "we were below Saturdays standards but you cant play well all the time and when you cant then winning is great" McCarthy " They were the best team we have seen this season and sometimes you are just beaten by the better team" Firstly McCarthy showed class which is more than can be said for certain Bald Bristolians and secondly well done GFZ for using the squad without causing the disruption to results previously witnessed. An Arsenal supporting friend just said at work that he wishes he supported Watford :-) peter10531089
  • Score: 0

10:45am Wed 20 Feb 13

JoeWFC_12 says...

Extremely proud horn this morning! Twitter was buzzing last night.

3 changes to the team from saturday was reasonable whilst maintaining a good structure to the team.

I feel GZ has now embedded this theory into his decision making.

Malky Mackay, we are coming after you! COYH
Extremely proud horn this morning! Twitter was buzzing last night. 3 changes to the team from saturday was reasonable whilst maintaining a good structure to the team. I feel GZ has now embedded this theory into his decision making. Malky Mackay, we are coming after you! COYH JoeWFC_12
  • Score: 0

11:45am Wed 20 Feb 13

petsoundsnick says...

At the start of the season I put on £10 at 28-1 for us to finish in the top 3.

Should pay for 2/3 of my season ticket next year....
At the start of the season I put on £10 at 28-1 for us to finish in the top 3. Should pay for 2/3 of my season ticket next year.... petsoundsnick
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Wed 20 Feb 13

BicesterLee says...

They said on the 3 counties commentary that theyd sold 30 of the reduced season tickets for the final home games in the last week. Any extra support is great but it would be fantastic if they sold around a thousand or more of them.

I would think that season ticket prices for next season will be later this year until they're sure we're Prem or Championship, I'll renew regardless as I always have, but whatever division we're in I'll look forward to next season far more than I have for a long time.

After 2 rapid returns from the Premiership I can honestly see us gaining a foothold if we go up this year or next, with a steady consistent build over the years to keep us there, as long as the fantastic Pozzo family are still behind us. We really do have the set up to make a real go of it for the first time and it will be even better doing it slowly with solid, caring, business minded but football savvy people like the Pozzos behind us, rather than boom and bust millionaires who use clubs as playthings until they get bored.

As a supporter of over 40 years I really can't believe how lucky we all are to have been taken over by these people who have given us already what we could only of dreamed of and plenty still to come.

To the Pozzo family, Gianfranco and all of the training staff and backroom staff THANK YOU, it's greatly appreciated by every Watford supporter.
They said on the 3 counties commentary that theyd sold 30 of the reduced season tickets for the final home games in the last week. Any extra support is great but it would be fantastic if they sold around a thousand or more of them. I would think that season ticket prices for next season will be later this year until they're sure we're Prem or Championship, I'll renew regardless as I always have, but whatever division we're in I'll look forward to next season far more than I have for a long time. After 2 rapid returns from the Premiership I can honestly see us gaining a foothold if we go up this year or next, with a steady consistent build over the years to keep us there, as long as the fantastic Pozzo family are still behind us. We really do have the set up to make a real go of it for the first time and it will be even better doing it slowly with solid, caring, business minded but football savvy people like the Pozzos behind us, rather than boom and bust millionaires who use clubs as playthings until they get bored. As a supporter of over 40 years I really can't believe how lucky we all are to have been taken over by these people who have given us already what we could only of dreamed of and plenty still to come. To the Pozzo family, Gianfranco and all of the training staff and backroom staff THANK YOU, it's greatly appreciated by every Watford supporter. BicesterLee
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Wed 20 Feb 13

bigthunder says...

Well done again to all a fantastic run of results , massive credit to the management team

would also like to give a big shout out to Nyron Nosworthy look at our results and clean sheets when he plays , missing Hall ? not so sure , great credit to the big man , so hard to get around and knock off the ball and knows how to defend ! take a bow Nos !

now for addressing the poorest result of season away at Derby , nice home win please , Vydra and Geijo to start up front ?
Well done again to all a fantastic run of results , massive credit to the management team would also like to give a big shout out to Nyron Nosworthy look at our results and clean sheets when he plays , missing Hall ? not so sure , great credit to the big man , so hard to get around and knock off the ball and knows how to defend ! take a bow Nos ! now for addressing the poorest result of season away at Derby , nice home win please , Vydra and Geijo to start up front ? bigthunder
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Wed 20 Feb 13

mk6 hornet says...

Wolves away shall i...................
.................Yes definatly lets take a massive following up there i can see 6 points from these next to games we will drop points somewhere along the line but can't think where at the moment.
Wolves away shall i................... .................Yes definatly lets take a massive following up there i can see 6 points from these next to games we will drop points somewhere along the line but can't think where at the moment. mk6 hornet
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Boosey says...

BicesterLee wrote:
They said on the 3 counties commentary that theyd sold 30 of the reduced season tickets for the final home games in the last week. Any extra support is great but it would be fantastic if they sold around a thousand or more of them.

I would think that season ticket prices for next season will be later this year until they're sure we're Prem or Championship, I'll renew regardless as I always have, but whatever division we're in I'll look forward to next season far more than I have for a long time.

After 2 rapid returns from the Premiership I can honestly see us gaining a foothold if we go up this year or next, with a steady consistent build over the years to keep us there, as long as the fantastic Pozzo family are still behind us. We really do have the set up to make a real go of it for the first time and it will be even better doing it slowly with solid, caring, business minded but football savvy people like the Pozzos behind us, rather than boom and bust millionaires who use clubs as playthings until they get bored.

As a supporter of over 40 years I really can't believe how lucky we all are to have been taken over by these people who have given us already what we could only of dreamed of and plenty still to come.

To the Pozzo family, Gianfranco and all of the training staff and backroom staff THANK YOU, it's greatly appreciated by every Watford supporter.
I second that!
[quote][p][bold]BicesterLee[/bold] wrote: They said on the 3 counties commentary that theyd sold 30 of the reduced season tickets for the final home games in the last week. Any extra support is great but it would be fantastic if they sold around a thousand or more of them. I would think that season ticket prices for next season will be later this year until they're sure we're Prem or Championship, I'll renew regardless as I always have, but whatever division we're in I'll look forward to next season far more than I have for a long time. After 2 rapid returns from the Premiership I can honestly see us gaining a foothold if we go up this year or next, with a steady consistent build over the years to keep us there, as long as the fantastic Pozzo family are still behind us. We really do have the set up to make a real go of it for the first time and it will be even better doing it slowly with solid, caring, business minded but football savvy people like the Pozzos behind us, rather than boom and bust millionaires who use clubs as playthings until they get bored. As a supporter of over 40 years I really can't believe how lucky we all are to have been taken over by these people who have given us already what we could only of dreamed of and plenty still to come. To the Pozzo family, Gianfranco and all of the training staff and backroom staff THANK YOU, it's greatly appreciated by every Watford supporter.[/p][/quote]I second that! Boosey
  • Score: 0

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